'Q & A' with INSIDE>OUT

'Q & A' with INSIDE>OUT


Currently more than 6.7 million people in Canada live with a mental health condition, with the pandemic, dramatically escalating the amount of Canadians (youth and adults) who require support. The INSIDE>OUT INITIATIVE recognizes that in order to thrive in today’s world, youth need to understand who they are, what they’re passionate about, and live by that.   

JENNIFERWelcome Heidi!  I’m so thrilled to be able to chat with you today as one of the Co-Founder’s of THE INSIDE>OUT INITIATIVE

HEIDI:  Thank you Jennifer!  I’m happy to be here. 

JENNIFER:  I was introduced to INSIDE>OUT through a supporter of MARNIE & MICHAEL.  She saw the work we were doing with mental health, and she is very aware of what INSIDE>OUT is working on, so she connected us together and here we are!  We have a great fundraising collaboration going on for the months of April and May; we’re doing a few giveaways together; publishing some blogs and we also have some LIVES on social media coming up too. Lots of great stuff going on!

HEIDI:  We are thrilled to be partnering with MARNIE & MICHAEL and truly appreciate your support during this Mental Health Month of May. We see over and over again how - when youth succeed, we all succeed.

JENNIFER:  I agree 1000%.  And our youth need all the support and tools they can get right now.  Could you tell us a bit more about INSIDE>OUT?

HEIDI:  The INSIDE>OUT INITIATIVE is a non-profit organization MEpowering youth to thrive in their world by living on the outside by who they are on the inside.

The world has changed more in the past 30 years than in the past 300 years. Today, more than ever, youth need to go inside of themselves for their source of power. With the emerging tech economy, the social upheaval defining our times, a pandemic that drags on and on, and how a new war, the more youth can be intrinsically motivated the better. 

JENNIFERThat really put things into perspective when you put it that way – more change in the last 30 years than in the last 300.  That’s incredible.  And a lot to deal with and figure out and handle – all while going through one of the more transformative stages of our lives – being a teenager.

I really connect with the INSIDE>OUT’s term ‘MEpowerment’.  Can you tell us more about this?

HEIDIWell, empowerment is a great thing but it comes from others. And what comes from others can also be taken away by others. MEpowerment is different - it comes from within. And when you go inside for your source of power no one else can take that away from you. Each of us has everything we need inside of us to flourish in life, it’s just that we may not know it. Or at least, we need to sometimes be reminded of it!

JENNIFER:  Ok.  Now I’m really hooked.  So we know what the core is here, now how does INSIDE>OUT share this with the world?

HEIDIThe cornerstone of the INSIDE>OUT movement is our acadeME Bootcamps. We host one for teens and one for parents of teens looking to support their teens mental health. 

We’ve integrated science, business, art and philosophy into our simple evidence-informed 3/6/9 framework that guides youth in a super user-friendly way to go inside and discover how they can each uniquely live to their greatest potential - how they can answer life’s really big questions for themselves in a way that will guide and inspire them in all aspects of their lives - from school, to friends, to family matters, to their future.


JENNIFER:  I really love how much thought and effort has been put into pulling this all together, and from so many different perspectives.  How are the acadeME Bootcamps run?

HEIDI:  Our acadeME Bootcamps are self-directed immersive experiences that touch on how the human mind works and what defines the human experience in order to harness that understanding to better understand ourselves - what motivates us, what drives us, what lights us up!

JENNIFER:  This all makes so much sense, and I completely agree with the motivation part of the equation here. 

HEIDI: Yes, when we know what we are passionate about, when we have a sense of personal purpose, we can see the impact we are meant to have and that feels really good. There are many scientific bodies of evidence that demonstrate the correlation between mental health and a clear sense of self and personal purpose.

JENNIFER:  Oh this hits the nail right on the head!  A sense of purpose is the corner stone to our mental health.  We all need to tap into that thing that makes us want to get out of bed every morning. 

Well this a tool like this, what kind of an impact does INSIDE>OUT want to make?

HEIDI:  Our big hairy audacious goal is for every young person to believe in their own potential and be the driver of their own bus, not the passenger of someone else’s. We as a society focus so much on society at large, and we often don’t think about the fact that every society, every group of people, every WE is a collection of ME’s. When we each believe in our own potential, we each contribute more fully to the world around us. Or said another way, when we empower every ME we create a better WE.

JENNIFER:  WOW!  I’m just in awe right now.  I’m beyond thrilled to be helping in any way possible to get the word out there on what INSIDE>OUT is doing.  It’s incredible.  What are the top projects INSIDE>OUT is working on?

HEIDI:  At the core, we are about social change. In addition to our acadeME Bootcamps we’re devoted to being a part of the conversation surrounding destigmatizing mental health. Still today as a society we applaud someone for taking care of their physical health but speak in whispers about mental health. This has to change. 

JENNIFERThat’s my ‘get out of bed’ motivation every day.  “What more can we do to de-stigmatize the conversation around mental health?” 

As we both know, CMHA’s Mental Health Week is coming up from May 2-8, 2022. This year they are focusing on how to bring empathy alive with the people in your life – being there, listening completely, and seeing things through their eyes.  And INSIDE>OUT is doing something interesting that week.  Could you tell us more?

HEIDI:  Yes, starting on May 2nd we’re kicking off a conversation series aimed at turning COVID inside out for youth. Yes, COVID was so hard on teenagers in so many ways and yet it also presented a backdrop for personal growth and freedom. We’ll be on Sirius XM 167 with Dhali Kurtz on her CanadaTalks morning show for a 5-part series as well as Facebook and Instagram Lives.

JENNIFER:  Perfect!  Tune in everyone – this is a much-needed discussion right now!  So much weight to carry at such a young age.

And we’re doing some great things in the month of May too – we have some LIVES on Instagram scheduled, more blog posts and another social media giveaway.   What drew INSIDE<OUT to collaborating with us for Mother’s Day and Mental Health Awareness week/month in May?

HEIDIWe love you guys! Your products are beautiful and who you are, how you came to be and what you stand for is what Inside>Out is all about - the potential for each and every one of us to turn our personal pain into personal purpose.

JENNIFERWell, I’m so glad we were put in contact with one another.  I’m such a cheerleader of the work INSIDE>OUT is doing and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have on our youth today.

I always like to finish up these ‘Q&A’s with a more personal questions.  With Spring upon us and a long winter behind us, what mental health go-to’s do you find helpful at this time of year? 

HEIDI:  For me it comes down to two simple words - GET OUTSIDE - which might be puzzling coming from one of the co-founder of the Inside>Out Initiative!

But at the end of the day we, human beings, are nature. When I get outside and focus my awareness of what is going on in the natural world, it somehow reveals so much to me about what is going on inside of me.

I love spring as I see, hear, feel, smell renewal everywhere I go and it’s a great reminder to me that nothing is permanent. Just because something has always been doesn’t mean it always has to be. If you don’t like something in your life, you are MEpowered to change it.

JENNIFER:  Such great tips Heidi.  I know we’re crawling up the walls at my house waiting for warm weather and sunshine.  Bring on the vitamin D and spring vibes.  Thank you again for taking the time to sit with me today.  I wish the team at INSIDE>OUT so much success. 

HEIDI:  Thank you Jennifer.  This has been quite enjoyable.  And the same to MARNIE & MICHAEL.

For more information visit: marnieandmichael.com 

For more information on InsideOut visit: https://www.ioi.live/