Ultimately, Changing Minds services come together to create and increase capacity in our communities; capacity to, specifically, address youth mental health, but also more broadly, to support the community to adapt and innovate in ways that create lasting change in the areas that matter most to the people who live, work, love, play in and constitute this amazing thing we call community.
In other words, Changing Minds intentionally seeks to empower people in such a way that substantial, lasting social transformation can be achieved and from the ground up.
In the simplest terms, capacity building is the process of increasing an individual’s, community’s or organisation’s ability to do the things they want to do, and ultimately to do them better. The United Nations defines it as “the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that [individuals,] organisations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world“. There’s a sense in which capacity building is an ongoing process of growth that enables adaptation to take place as the world around us changes. Capacity building also plays an important role in the practice of community development.
The Aspen Institute (2009) have identified the following 8 outcomes of community capacity building:
These 8 outcomes can be translated into 5 distinct actions, exemplifying the objectives of Changing Minds as a catalyst for change. These actions constitute our simple plan for building capacity within the community:
The services Changing Minds delivers are represented by 4 overlapping areas. They are:
CONSULTATION: Delivery of program, service and enterprise design and development consultation services to grassroots individuals and collectives through to the formal youth serving sector. Supporting the development of new initiatives, scaling of existing programs and projects and the introduction of pro-mental health approaches to service delivery and organisational operations.
TRAINING: Delivery of a carefully curated suite of applicable, cutting edge social innovation, enterprise, design and innovation & mental health related training programs, supported by international partnerships with leaders in the social enterprise and impact training space.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT: Creating opportunities for existing organisations and grassroots operators to engage with their community, to better understand the community’s needs, receive direction and stay abreast of current trends and issues. As an organization we also regularly and intentionally engage with youth, including youth with lived experience of mental health.
INNOVATION: Driving innovation by supporting our constituents through creative solution finding approaches, researching, importing and adapting cutting edge solutions from around the globe and developing our own in house solutions for addressing youth mental health and supporting social innovation. Solutions are developed and/or adapted in partnership with local Service Delivery & Business Development Partners.
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