The Pain and the Great One (BMD Nov23)

Beautiful Minds, Kind Community

Coach Miguel Martinez, EMC member and one of the founders of Beautiful Mind Day, gets students excited for their field trip! 

More than 180 students, teachers and support staff, community members and organizations came together on November 30, 2023 for Erin Mills Connects’ annual Beautiful Mind Day event. Created by Erin Mills Connects (EMC) in 2019, Beautiful Mind Day is a mental health field trip for elementary and middle school students. Schools from west-end Mississauga are invited to select mental health ambassadors who will learn more about how to be a good friend and how to be kind to themselves.

This year, the event took place in the new Mattamy Sports Dome at the Churchill Meadows Community Centre, where student mental health ambassadors from 11 elementary and middle schools spent the day taking part in activities and games co-facilitated by John Fraser S.S. and UTM students and EMC volunteers. 

Based on 20+ years of research from the Centre for Child Development, Mental Health, and Policy at the University of Toronto Mississauga, activities included guessing games, art, and human foosball(!) and were created to promote The 3Es of Social-Emotional Development©: emotion regulation, empathy for others, and empathy for the self.

Teacher and students (BMD Nov23)
How Am I Feeling (BMD Nov23)
Miguel closing (BMD Nov23)

 Students reported that they liked how the games helped “explain emotions and the communication part of mental health” and that they “learned to see other people’s perspectives” (including thinking about their siblings’ feelings!).  

Facilitators and volunteers observed that the students were “curious and excited…about mental health” and that they found the “capacity of young children…astounding,” which made them feel good about the future.   

Teachers expressed that the activities were engaging and created “great connections between feelings/emotions to mental health” and that they gained ideas to support their own wellness teams at their school. They also felt that it was beneficial that the students had the opportunity to meet other students from different schools, creating “great connections” within our community. 

We were grateful for the opportunity to work again with our community partner, EMC, a collaborative of community leaders dedicated to supporting the Erin Mills community in Mississauga through creating connections, bringing together resources, and advocating for the needs of the community members. The CCDMP is proud to be part of this community and hopes to continue learning and working together as we support the beautiful minds of our children!

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