Do You Mind?

YouthCO and the Community- Based Research Centre (CBRC) are teaming up to deliver a new mental health initiative for queer & trans youth living in the Fraser Valley.  

If you are between the ages of 19-24 and are interested in building and refining your leadership in community health, we hope you will join us as we unpack the social and interpersonal challenges that queer & trans youth face together when it comes to our mental health.  

We will gather with other youth leaders in the Fraser Valley for a four-day youth leadership retreat, where we will receive training in mental health, project planning, and community organizing. 

Following the retreat, we will have the opportunity to apply the skills we have learned in piloting a new mental health initiative of our own design in our communities!  

All meals and accommodation for the retreat are included. In addition, youth will receive an honorarium for their time and participation in the retreat weekend and for their work on the community initiative.  

We still have a few spots open! If you are interested in participating in the retreat, please contact Emily directly at 

COVID-19 Measures: All participants will have access to accommodation and food that reflects provincial standards for physical distancing. This will include your own private suite, which includes a kitchenette and a private bathroom. Food and beverages will be individually packaged. Our sessions will be held at the hotel in a large conference room with seats placed at least 2 meters apart. Disposable face masks will be available for participants as desired. 


Meet the Leadership Retreat Facilitators:

Emily Bailey (she/they)

Emily grew up as an uninvited guest on Chewathil territories of Austrian, English, and Anglo-Indian heritage. Emily enjoys talking about feelings and learning community care practices. Emily has a deep affinity for the powerful survival strategies practiced in rural communities and is excited by opportunities to imagine transformative relationships of care.

Ivan Leonce (he/him/his)

Ivan is the Mpowerment Program Manager at YouthCO. He was born and raised in iere, land of the hummingbirds, kalinago territory and moved to Coast Salish Territories in 2012 seeking a change from colonially imposed anti-queer laws in the Caribbean. Ivan is a part-time poet, full-time friend and big believer in the transformative power of relationships.

July 24, 2020 at 1pm - July 27, 2020
Sandman Hotel & Suites Abbotsford
32720 Simon Ave
Abbotsford, BC V2T 0B8
Google map and directions
Emily · · 604-869-1084

Will you come?

YouthCO's office is located on the unceded traditional territory of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh and Tsleil-Waututh people. Our programs take place on unceded, ancestral, and traditional territories of many Indigenous nations across what is now called BC.

YouthCO believes that all youth have the right to accessible and affirming information about our health. We also know each of us has a unique relationship to our bodies, sex, sexuality, substance use, and harm reduction. For many of us, the words other people use for our bodies and their functions are not the words we use for ourselves. Throughout our website, YouthCO uses words for bodies and sex that we know will not reflect the full diversity of our communities. We have tried to, where possible, be as expansive with our language as we know how to while being as specific as possible. As youth leading the HIV movement, we too are learning about the best words for our experiences and do not do this perfectly. We invite any feedback about the language used on our website to help us move forward in the best ways for all youth in our communities!