Education Events

Beyond the Blues
Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness Week
National Child & Youth Mental Health Day
Our Anxiety Stories
In the Know
Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

Lifelong learning is a core part of our mission. We align around our common purpose to deliver special events, annual programs, and to help people learn and connect. By leveraging each other’s networks, we can share the unique, lived experience of mental health and substance use in our communities – and beyond.

Our events:

Beyond the Blues

Established in 1995, BC Partners’ annual mental health and substance use awareness campaign encourages people across the province to explore mental wellbeing, including how to recognize the signs of depression, anxiety, and problematic substance use.

In a typical year, we host education and screening sites where attendees can watch videos, play games, participate in fun activities, and fill out short self-tests on wellbeing, depression, anxiety, and risky drinking, and talk privately with medical professionals about next steps.

With Covid-19 restrictions, we shifted to virtual screenings – and will continue to offer both in-person and virtual activities. Community-based agencies held these health literacy events with planners including:

  • Campus mental health and wellness staff
  • Community centres
  • Student associations
  • Seniors’ organizations
  • Indigenous-focused services  
  • Health authorities 
  • School districts
  • MHSU non-profits 

Specific Beyond the Blues (BTB) audiences included: 

  • Workplaces
  • ESL conversation groups
  • Young adults (19-25) 
  • Parents
  • New mothers
  • Youth (13-18)
  • Older adults
  • Youth at risk
  • Correctional officers and inmates
  • Mixed/general public

1,324 people participated in screening/education events.


In a survey of 21 event planners who organized 32 events:

  • 71% worked with local community partners
  • 81% indicated events went well, good, or excellent 
  • 83% agree that they would recommend BTB to a colleague 
  • 89% agree that support from the BCP leads was helpful 
  • 90% of participants, planners felt would rate their experience as excellent or good
Beyond the Blues screening events allow us to provide meaningful check-in opportunities to our students. Many students are hesitant or unsure about counseling services, even if they are experiencing challenges; but this event allows them to ‘test the waters’ and realize that seeking help is a safe and valuable thing to do.
Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness Week

Every year from February 1-7, the Provincial Eating Disorders Awareness (PEDAW) campaign kicks off its BC-wide events and activities, led by Jessie’s Legacy. This yearlong movement is designed to raise awareness around eating disorders prevention and intervention, as well as media literacy, healthy body image, and self-esteem.

This year, our audiences included:

  • Parents/caregivers 
  • Youth and adults struggling with eating
  • Teachers 
  • Counsellors 
  • MHSU non-profits 
  • Local health authority eating disorder programs

128 podcast downloads

Open Hearts. Honest Conversations from Family Services of the North Shore Episode focused eating disorders

This podcast did a wonderful job of demystifying disordered eating.
So much important information is imparted in less than 30 minutes, I learned a lot.

159 parents and caregivers attended FamilySmart™ In the Know eating disorder groups, representing 29 communities

On the Jessie’s Legacy website:

772 people completed the Eating Attitudes screener
795 people completed the Body Image screener

The pandemic and our online campaign made it difficult to measure impact, but when we compared web traffic from 2020 to 2021 PEDAW campaigns, we saw the following increases:

Unique visitors – Jan & Feb
2020 – 7,069
2021 – 10,011
+ 29%

Total visits – Jan & Feb
2020 – 12,803
2021 – 21,396
+ 40%

Total page visits – Jan & Feb
2020 – 32,754
2021 – 68,994
+ 52.5%

The PEDAW campaign also received news coverage. Manager Joanna Zelichowska was featured by:
CBC’s On the Coast with Gloria Makarenko (radio)
Vista Radio, Prince George
Capilano Radio
North Shore News (print)
Fairchild News (TV broadcast in Mandarin)

National Child & Youth Mental Health Day

May 7, 2020

Caring conversations can have a big impact on the mental health of children and youth. Founded in 2007 by FamilySmart™, National Child & Youth Mental Health Day is designed to build caring connections between young people and the influential adults in their lives. With the campaign name “I care about you,” this special day trended on Twitter and engaged tens of thousands of people across the country.

This year, our audiences included: 

  • Parents/caring adults
  • Teachers
  • Counsellors
  • Children
  • Youth 
  • Child & youth mental health professionals

After Covid-19 shut the country down in mid-March 2020, FamilySmart quickly created a new plan for May 7th activities. The team was unable to prepare surveys but was able to collect impact data showing the campaign reach:

  • 20,147 people engaged across Canada 
  • 278% increase in pageviews over previous year
  • 52% increase in Facebook followers over previous year
  •  #may7icare trending on Twitter – trending is a significant Twitter benchmark, and May 7th has never trended before
  • 17.4K tweet impressions (up 581%) over previous year
  • 15 news articles promoting CYMH Day on May 6 and 7
  • 1,400 post-campaign engagements with FamilySmart
  • 9,284 May 7 video views
Our Anxiety Stories (Anxiety Canada podcast)

Hearing people from all walks of life sharing their experiences with anxiety can be both validating and healing. Hosted by John Bateman, Our Anxiety Stories interviews experts, psychologists, celebrities, and regular people about their lessons and experiences with anxiety. The audience includes:

  • Parents/caregivers
  • Teacher/educators
  • Youth and adults 
  • Mental health professionals
  • Media

From April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021, Anxiety Canada produced 35 episodes with 16,491 total listens and 22 applications from prospective guests 

Facebook ad results: 

  • $445 spent
  • 844 link clicks
  • 37,291 reach
  • 65,182 impressions 

Google ad results:

  • Funded by Google Grants program ($6.4K spent)
  •  1.26K clicks
  •  15.7K impressions
  • 8.1% click-through rate

543 pageviews on rebranded webpage within one week of launch, with no paid advertising.

  • User feedback: “The concept of organizing by topic is great.”

614 survey respondents 

  • When asked on a scale of 1-10 how likely they were to recommend #OurAnxietyStories to others, 68.7% of survey takers chose 7+, with 37.5% choosing 9+.

Testimonials (from listener survey) 

New to podcast – just catching up, but so far find that what is most relevant to me, is that I’m not the only person who at one point, felt they were going to be able to handle it and should just be able to fix it and get better without help…only for it to get worse.
I love hearing stories of other people’s struggles, recovery, treatments. I like hearing about research and studies. Helping others.
Excellent stories that make you feel a part of something.
Short episodes full of useful info. Accessible.

Constructive feedback (from listener survey)

“Finding a topic should be easier to navigate.”

  • Addressed with our re-brand/new webpage 

“Think instead of names, the topic would be better.”

  • We’ll explore more informative titles in season 3 

“I think that you might reach out to some healthcare workers who experience secondary & vicarious trauma daily and see what their lived experience is during COVID. As a healthcare worker myself I would feel less isolated to hear stories of resilience.”

  • We’ll seek out frontline workers as prospective guests for season 3

“I wish there were more stories.”

 “Keep going, increase more topics.”

 “Hope to add more stories.”

 “Add some other topics.”

 “Add more content.”

  • Will be addressed with the release of S3
In the Know

In the Know has deep roots in the FamilySmart™ organization and across the province. These monthly mental health networking and information-sharing sessions reflect what parents, caregivers, young people, and service providers want to know. Hosted across the province by community-based Parents in Residence, events include speakers, topic discussions, and videos aired at group sessions and available online.

In the Know events are highly effective for expanding mental health literacy. They open a shared dialogue and continue critical conversations – and the program is enhanced with the BC Partners network. For example, we created a video featuring a parent in our network who lost a child to an overdose along with a substance use expert from another BC Partner agency. It’s a collective effort that minimizes silos and enables all seven organizations to better support people in BC.

In the Know audiences included

  • Parents/caring adults 
  • Teachers
  • Counsellors
  • Child and youth mental health professionals
  • 45 topic videos available online
  • 217 communities participated
  • 408 downloads of podcast on self-injury
  • 1830 virtual event participants
  • 7375 online video views

In a survey of both live event attendees and online viewers:

  • 96% said the information in the video/online conversation was useful
  • 92% said they would recommend an In the Know event to others
  • 75% said they gained knowledge, skills, tools or resources to better understand or manage mental health challenges
I learned how to have a clear ‘ask’ from the school, liked the strategy of a communication book or texting to communicate about ‘hard’ topics with my kids, and was able to get rid of fictitious goals! It was helpful to know what other parents have tried that has worked, especially from the Parents in Residence.
I was reminded to be kind to myself, learn to name emotions so then can figure out how to handle them. I like the idea that we watch the video on our own, then discuss it to pull out the very pertinent information that others, and often I, found but hadn’t completely absorbed yet. The more exposure, the more one remembers a new piece of information.
The information shared was so helpful and encouraging to know that there is support, and with time working through these tough struggles to have hope for healing!
I felt safe and respected and comfortable being a part of this session. Thank you for creating a safe place to ask questions.
The perspective of the mom with experience and the professional. They were EXCELLENT together. I am SO DEEPLY grateful. This will be life-changing for my relationship with my teens. It confirms that I was mostly going in the “right” direction but also reminds me that fear is counter-productive and, frankly, will likely disintegrate the relationship. Curiosity and love and respect for my child as a human being rather than someone I try to control from a place of fear. I am beyond grateful. Simply EXCELLENT! Thank you. Appreciate the book reference “Beyond Addiction” and the info about the drug testing kits.
Look Again: Mental Illness Re-Examined

BC Schizophrenia Society podcast

In Canada, one in five people experience a mental health problem or mental illness, and one in 100 people live with schizophrenia. Launched on March 31, 2021, the new podcast series from the BC Schizophrenia Society highlights the diverse voices of the mental illness community. The podcast features medical experts, families, and those who live with mental illnesses — to dispel myths and share truth.

Audiences included:

  • Parents/siblings
  • Caregivers 
  • People with lived experience
  • Mental health professionals

The first podcast was released on the last day of the fiscal year, so we can’t yet share our impact. However, the Look Again podcast is ranked #64 among mental health podcasts on the Apple Podcasts platform.