Mobilizing Minds meets Mind your Mind

Apart from each having a cat, Jenn McPhee (Program Coordinator, Mobilizing Minds) and I have nothing in common. Discovering all the things two people have in common in 60 seconds was the first exercise at the annual Face to Face meeting of Mobilizing Minds, the $1.5M CIHR funded knowledge translation grant exploring pathways to young adult mental health.
You previously met Jenn and read about Mobilizing Minds on this blog. This past weekend (February 20-21, 2010) was the second time the adult researchers and young adult leaders had a chance to get together face to face. The project’s primary goals are to:

  1. Find what information young adults, their friends and family want about help for common mental health problems
  2. Find the information they have requested – very challenging (knowledge synthesis)
  3. Put the answers to their questions into clear language (core information)
  4. Format information in a variety of formats to meet the needs of different young adults and different media
  5. Evaluate the core information and the formatted information
  6. Disseminate the information developed on a wide scale

However, another goal that permeates all activities is to explore the dynamics of young adult/adult partnerships. Young adults are involved in all activities of the project including in leadership positions throughout the project. That’s where Mind your Mind (MYM) comes in. MYM is a London, ON community based organization providing services (many of them interactive web based) for young adults exploring mental health support services. MYM recently joined the MM team as the young adult coordinators but they also bring with them tools and expertise to facilitate knowledge mobilization of mental health research to a young adult audience.

At the end of the weekend the group had worked through some of the relationship challenges experienced by a research project spread across 5 universities and 3 provinces. We rediscovered our commitment to the project and made plans for year 2. And we tweeted (@mobilizingminds). Frequently. While the tweets aren’t minutes of the meeting you can get an idea of what happened throughout the 2 days. Because MM is a KM project and KM is inherently change focused the participants were asked to write about how their involvement with MM has changed them over the last year – in 140 characters or less. Here are their tweets:
I have become inspired and feel more informed!
I have had to reorganize Mondays. I have enjoyed discourse with interesting colleagues. I know some more about communicating.
More aware of partnership complexity and how much we don’t know about mental health.
I am more busy and feel the work is meaningful.
I have discovered the importance of research and have gained a sincere interest in young adult mental health.
The project has increased my awareness of the tremendous importance of KE. Managing tasks in health can translate to KE. Amazing perspective.
I have learned more about myself as a person, my strengths and weaknesses. I have a better idea of areas I can improve and ways I can get there.
Feel more involved in something revolutionary and exciting.
I have developed a commitment to working in a knowledge translation framework.
I became part of an experienced-based team who are visionaries in involving communities of young adults in mental health.

The take away message from the meeting: no amount of Go To meetings, teleconferences, twitter or skype can replace face to face contact. In a Web 2.0 world, technology can only enhance, it can’t replace, the human touch.