Free Your Mind Mental Health Society
Free Your Mind Mental Health Society, or Free Your Mind, is a youth-led not-for-profit. It is based in Calgary, and it was founded with youth mental health in mind. One in five Canadian youths will experience a serious mental health struggle in any given year, and only a quarter of them will receive the help they need and deserve. Stigma prevents struggling youth from seeking help, and our founders are determined to change that. Free Your Mind draws on the power of real, young voices and amplifies them. We speak out about mental health through social media, blogging, and our community events.
Victory Angeli founded Free Your Mind at 17 years old. Free Your Mind was never meant to be an ongoing program, much less a society. Victory, who had suffered from mental health complications for over a decade, only wanted to build a team and host an event for mental health education.
Victory’s struggle with poor mental health began at the age of 5. At that time, their family immigrated from China. Victory was often bullied for their looks and their way of speaking. Their classmates picked on them for their broken English and the shape of their eyes. Victory continued to suffer through junior high, where they struggled through two years of constant sexual harassment. While they didn’t know it at the time, Victory suffered from depression and two anxiety disorders. Along the way, Victory learned the value of resilience and turned their painful experiences into the desire to do good. Now, Victory works hard to overcome their troubles and to embrace who they are, including their non-binary gender identity.
In June of 2019, the founders of Free Your Mind planned, organized, and completed Project Mindfulness, the mental health event that Victory wanted to see. Within two years, Free Your Mind evolved from a one-time project into a registered not-for-profit