The State Of Mind Festival was created as a solution to the challenges faced by Mike Stroh, his brother David, and their family throughout high school and after. Their challenges of navigating the mental health system to find support and their journey into recovery and beyond.

The inaugural ‘State Of Mind Festival’ (SOM) was hosted on May 2nd, 2017 at the Berkeley Church in downtown Toronto.

During the inaugural festival, 150 youth shared their in-class curriculum aligned projects of mental health and celebrated their work. In the evening, we brought together industry leaders to learn from the youth messages and present those messages to over 150 parents, teacher, community agencies, and others in attendance. Attendees learned how they can improve their work to better promote the mental health of young people, and about the innovations community organizations are doing to improve the youth mental health system.

The festival concluded by setting out concrete goals for the following year and inviting system leaders with the aim to improve the curriculum and provide meaningful ways to engage, empower, and educate youth about mental health.  

Our year-long programming provides a space for students to expand on the festival and create a continuous conversation about mental health. We do this through workshops in partnership with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), Starts With Me holds public events that engage a diverse audience in creative ways throughout the year.

The Festival is produced by Starts With Me, a mental health education, training, and advocacy organization. Learn more about Starts With Me HERE