our story.

Open Arms is a Non Profit Organization reaching out to Undergraduate and High School students across Canada. We hope to create and inspire incremental positive societal change and mental health awareness through one conversation at a time.
Open Arms was founded by two undergraduate students. Undergraduate and high school students across Canada have made important strides in mental health awareness but are also some of the most affected. Through our time at university, we have seen first hand, the isolating power that studying, stress and social discomfort can have. Much of those things are out of our control and are considered the 'natural' stressors of high school and undergraduate life. When thinking about how to make a difference however, we thought about how little we have asked "how are you?" to a friend, neighbour, or loved one. It shocked us at how little we have personally shared with people we consider close friends. We realized then, that every person can make a difference by ​​starting a conversation.

By asking "how are you?" to a friend once a week, catching up after a difficult test, or just being there through tough times; every one of us can change someone's day and potentially someone's life. 

As students, we have had these conversations and understand that they are not always easy. What we hope people realize however, is that one difficult conversation can save a life. 

So we hope you will consider signing the pledge to start an important conversation with a neighbour, friend and loved one. Show that you will not shy away from a difficult conversation and stand up to mental illness. Sometimes, the people going through the most difficult times are the ones right in front of us. 

Sign the Pledge

what we do.

  1. Starts with Students
    At Open Arms, our goal is to fight back against youth mental health stigma in Canada and to get all students in Canada involved. We work with students at high schools and universities across Canada to share our message and create real change.
  2. Learning More.
    When we talk with students, our starting point is to discuss and share the current staggering mental health numbers in Canada. You can learn more about these numbers here.
  3. Signing a Pledge
    At Open Arms we wanted to encourage tangible action created by students themselves and this is why we created a pledge system. When you sign a pledge with Open Arms, you are pledging to start a conversation with a friend or loved one about their mental health.
  4. Open Arms has created an annual event that will showcase the terrific work of our volunteers and spread our message further. Annually, Open Arms will be planning a 5 day event and we're calling it; 5 Days. 5 Steps. Learn more about our event and how you can participate here.
Download
Sign the Pledge
Learn More Here