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Students prepare to 'Unleash the Noise'

Justin Scaini (Artsci'13) is helping organize Unleash the Noise, a student mental health innovation summit.

Justin Scaini (Artsci’13) is taking his drive and passion for raising awareness of mental health issues to the next level. Mr. Scaini is active with The Jack Project@Queen’s and is playing a central role in organizing Unleash the Noise, a student mental health innovation summit, being held in Toronto later this week.

The Jack Project, established in 2010, connects young people with mental health experts by encouraging them to discuss their mental health, and to find and offer help. Unleash the Noise is bringing young people from across the country together to discuss new strategies for changing the landscape of mental health; they will then take their learning back to their respective communities.

“My involvement in The Jack Project and Unleash the Noise have been some of the best experiences in my life, and definitely a highlight,” says Mr. Scaini. “The positive words that people have said about what we’re doing, and how my friends have reached out to me as a result of these projects are some of the most moving experiences throughout this process.”

Mr. Scaini first became involved two years ago, when he auditioned for The Jack Project video about mental health first aid. He was given the lead role and portrayed a student suffering from a mental illness. At the time of the campus video shoot, Mr. Scaini was oblivious to the topic of mental health issues, but after speaking with Eric Windeler, father of Jack and founder of The Jack Project, he soon developed a strong desire to do more.

“I first met Justin two years ago when he auditioned for a video we produced with Queen's. His spark and leadership were apparent from the start,” says Mr. Windeler. “Now two years later, I've seen Justin grow into a unique and inspirational leader for the field of student mental health. Justin's vision and energy have been essential for planning and organizing Unleash the Noise.”

Unleash the Noise is a student-driven, student-organized and student-led initiative.

“We are going to the grassroots level of how people think about the mental health,” says Mr. Scaini. “We want to eliminate the stigma that exists, and our goal is to get everyone thinking about it on a daily basis.”

Two hundred students will participate in the summit. For more information, visit the website.