Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future

Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future
Reconciling the Past and Changing the Future

When people use their individual strengths, the team is stronger as a whole

All people have strengths and skills. The entire research team is stronger when members can use their strengths. When people have the chance to use their strengths, they increase their well-being and grow their leadership skills. Our Leadership Team and the Truth & Reconciliation Forum co-facilitator teams used a strengths-based approach to work together.

Leadership Team

When our leadership team started to work together on this project, we each took the VIA Character Strengths Survey. We shared our strengths with the team. Each time we met, the attendance section of our meeting agenda reminded us of our unique and shared strengths.

You can also learn about your strengths for free by taking the VIA Character Strengths Survey.

In this video, Destiny Watkins, a leadership team member, explains how focusing on strengths made our team stronger.

Truth & Reconciliation Forum Co-Facilitators:

The Truth & Reconciliation Forums were co-led by a START provider and a person with lived experience of IDD-MH. 

During the Truth & Reconciliation Forums, the co-facilitators with IDD-MH shared their own stories about getting involved in research. This showed other young adults with IDD-MH that it was possible to get involved in research.   

The image below shows Lauren’s story, a co-facilitator, about getting involved in research. She shared the strategies she used to be a part of our team. 

Image of three women smiling with quote that reads " I worried about whether or not I could be successful in doing this. I was like, I did not know what to expect, but now I know that it's pretty much over, and I'm excited to do it, but I'm a little bit nervous."
Woman with short hair and glasses with quote that reads "I have my sidekick Jeremy and he would never let me down. I have my mother, she will do everything/anything for me. Marya also gives me ideas to make the presentation better"


The young adults with lived experience of IDD-MH told us that co-leading the Truth & Reconciliation Forums helped them learn new skills: 


"(I learned) to be a better facilitator, taught me how to prepare and lead a forum. Gave me a lot of experience. Something I'm grateful for."

- Truth & Reconciliation co-facilitator with IDD-MH

"... it means I can do something independently without my parents."

- Truth & Reconciliation co-facilitator with IDD-MH