WeSupport Chinese-Canadian Mental Health mutual aid platform is a non-profit volunteer-based platform, initiated by Chinese mental healthcare professionals and a team of Chinese Canadian researchers from Ryerson University, Memorial University, and University of Toronto. It is a community outreach of research projects funded by the federal government. The project was founded by Dr. Lixia Yang , a professor from the Psychology department of Ryerson University and Ms. Lydia Yang, a psychotherapist at the Wellness Counselling Centre for Youth Canada (WCCYC). During the initial period, WeSupport dedicated its efforts to provide counselling and emotional and practical support to Chinese Canadian community during the COVID-19 pandemic. It aimed to turn the crisis into an opportunity for growth and support the mental health of Chinese Canadians during the pandemic.
Since its launch in April 2020, WeSupport received support from various Chinese communities. It has held many on-line workshops to promote mental health, disseminate mental health-related resources via YouTube and WeChat groups , to Chinese Canadians living in North America and around the globe. Through its continuous commitment, WeSupport aims to reduce stereotypes surrounding psychological disorders, increase awareness for mental health prevention and promote self-care and support for others.
Established in North America, WeSupport seeks to provide emotional support and mental health related resources to Chinese population across the globe. Currently the platform consists of nearly 80 volunteers, serving 3 WeChat groups of approximately 1400 members. Its services and events received very positive feedback from its members and volunteers. For example, members commented that “this group is just like an oasis in a desert, and it has offered a tranquil place for our hearts during such turbulent times,” and “I’m certain that the selfless contributions of the volunteers will make more and more individuals to feel and spread love and warmth in Chinese communities.”
Mission: WeSupport is also referred to as “The Sunshine Mental Health Project”. It promotes a culture of objective is to share mental health related resources and promote mental health and wellness. WeSupport recruited a dedicated team of volunteers to join its mini-sun team. Through weekly training, volunteers gain mental health knowledge, practice self care and emotional support skills. This not only promotes personal growth and self-empowerment, but also allows them to apply the learned knowledge to raise awareness and promote mental health in Chinese Canadian communities.
Standard Operation Procedure: WeSupport operates based on a hierarchical operating system, with staffs and volunteers working in small teams to take shifts to provide psychological and emotional support to their WeChat members. The management team includes the project director and co-director, project manager and human resource manager, supervisors, and team leaders. The operational team consists of supervisors, team leaders and volunteers. The weekly on-duty team includes one supervisor and two teams, each with a team leader.
- Provide psychological and emotional support
- Share mental health related resources through weekly newsletters and periodic announcements.
- Offer regular volunteer training sessions led by professionals to empower volunteers and promote their personal growth.
- Hold regular knowledge dissemination workshops to share mental health and wellness information and promote resilience in public.
- Promote dynamic social interactions, self care and mutual support.
WeSupport Working Group
Dr. Lixia Yang (Ryerson University)
Dr. Peizhong Wang (Memorial University of Newfoundland)
Dr. Weiguo Zhang (University of Toronto)
Dr. Xiaolin Wei (University of Toronto)
The research project is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Trainer /Supervisor Team:
Lydia Yang, WCCYC Director, Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario
Lixia Yang, Professor and Psychologist, Ryerson University
Liping Peng, WCCYC Senior Familial Relationship Trainer
Shan Qi, Registered Psychotherapist of Ontario
Zhiyuan Luo, Positive Parenting Course Lecturer
Camilla Yu, Nationally Certified counselor of America, Independent clinical license in New York
YuLu, Emotional Intelligence Trainer
Julia Shen, Non-Violent Communication Trainer Candidate
Core Management Team:
Program Director: Lixia Yang
Program Co-director: Lydia Yang
Program Manager: Jun Zhang
Human Resource Manager: Ying Cao
If you are interested in joining our volunteer or supervisor/management team, please contact us at :firstname.lastname@example.org
Translator: Elvina Li
She is currently a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Health Sciences at McMaster University, Canada. She has over 1000 hours of volunteering experiences in the fields of education, research, healthcare, and veterinary medicine. She is currently the Vice President of the McMaster’s pre-veterinary club and optometric club, and is working to become a veterinarian.