Mental Health Awareness Festival

Community Integrations Through

Co-Operative Education

Mental Health Awareness Festival

“Awareness is developed with others, not alone.”

~ Adapted by CICE Changemaking Team

The goal of this project was to bring awareness to mental health and connect with those that may be struggling with depressions and anxiety.

How it Works

The CICE Student Changemaker Team worked together to design, plan and implement a Mental Health Awareness Festival to raise awareness about loneliness and mental health. The festival involved a combination of art activities, such as a “canvas of hands”, adult colouring pages, a “lunch & paint”, “popcorn & a poem”, and inspirational music. The event invited members from the Georgian College community to drop-by, enjoy some popcorn with a poem, participate in the various activities, and learn about mental health, loneliness and community support agencies.


The CICE Student Changemaker Team worked with the idea that “awareness is developed with others, not alone” (CICE Changemaking Team, 2019), and used the “canvas of hands” as a symbol of support stating, “we used the canvas of hands to show the community that we are in this together.” (CICE Changemaking Team, 2019). As a pilot project, the event proved to be a success with over 100 visitors in attendance and an established framework for future groups to model.

The Mental Health Awareness Festival aims to show community support for people who feel isolated and lonely due to struggles related to mental health. The purpose of the event is to raise awareness about mental health, and to bring people together in community to recognize that “awareness is developed with others, not alone.” (CICE Changemaking Team, 2019)

The Process

Step 1: Research mental health (personal stories, videos, articles, statistics, etc.) – one of the videos we watched was called Emily Unmasked (

Step 2: Create empathy maps to develop a deeper understanding of people who struggle with mental health

Step 3: Brainstorm solutions (we used a brainstorming web application called Mindomo –

Step 4: Present brainstormed solutions to team (there is a presentation feature within Mindomo web application)

Step 5: Vote on one solution (we set up a private polling station, which was open for one week)

Step 6: After “winning” solution is announced, divide up into committees (social media and outreach, advertising and marketing, supplies and set-up)

Step 7: Each committee fulfills planning and preparation duties to prepare for the event

Step 8: Sign up for shifts to manage the event booth

Step 9: Host event

Step 10: Reflect on the experience and write thank you cards to community partners who helped in the event

Recommended Materials & Resources


Materials and Resources

  • Two or 3 tables for day of event
  • Several (depends on size of event) 16”x20” Wood Framed Artist Canvases
  • Fabric Markers to trace and decorate hands on canvas
  • Easels to display canvases as the canvases fill with colourful hands
  • Adult colouring pages
  • Pencil crayons and markers for colouring pages
  • Small 5”x7” Flat Artist Canvases
  • Bob Ross Painting YouTube Tutorial (another painting tutorial will work)
  • Inspirational music playlist and mobile device
  • Bluetooth speakers
  • Popcorn machine, popcorn, popcorn scoop and popcorn bags
  • An inspirational poem (written by student or previously published) – 100 copies or more (depending on size of event) – stapled to back of popcorn bag
  • PowerPoint slide show with images and quotes about mental health (student research – can be adapted to Google Slides or another presentation program).
  • CRISIS Line cards, Good2Talk cards, MyWellness cards, or any other cards for community support agencies that people can take with them



Stores, organizations and websites used to locate materials and resources:


  • Dollarama for canvases and art supplies
  • Georgian College Student Services (contact information for community support agencies and counselling services)
  • Georgian College Student Association (MyWellness cards and Popcorn machine/supplies)
  • YouTube (Bob Ross Painting Tutorial)
  • Internet for student research on mental health


Just Color Website – (free adult colouring pages)


The CICE Student Changemaker Team connected with Student Services at Georgian College and the Georgian College Student Association to provide information on counselling at Georgian, MyWellness, Simcoe County Crisis Response Service, and Good2Talk. 

Social Media Links








Theme: Mental Health Awareness
Program: Community Integration through Co-Operative Education
Semester: Winter 2019
Designed For: Post Secondary Students
Creators: Community Integration through Co-Operative Education Students
Additional Keywords: Depressions, Anxiety, Mental Health Awareness, Festival

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