Fae Johnstone (they/them) is a queer nonbinary young person with a passion for youth engagement, mental health and anti-oppression. They are a third-year social work student at Carleton University, a member of the Strategic Advisory Council of the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, a board member with the Lesbian, Gay, Bi & Trans Youth Line, and an experienced young consultant, facilitator and community organizer.
Fae has supported advocacy, social policy and youth-led initiatives on a local, provincial and national level. They have supported child and youth mental health agencies across Ontario, Canada, to implement and improve youth engagement practices and coordinated Dare to Dream, Ontario’s only youth-led mental health funding program. They played a key role in the launch of Ontario’s first week-long Gender and Sexuality Alliance Forum and co-coordinated the International Day of Pink Campaign in 2014.
Their interest in youth mental health has its roots in their own lived experience as a young person who has struggled with mental illness. As a queer, non-binary young person, they are all too familiar with the everyday experiences and struggles facing queer and trans young people, and the impact that has on their mental health.
They believe in the need for a fundamental shift in our approach to providing inclusive and affirming supports to queer and trans youth – alongside significant action to improve the social determinants of health to address the high rates of suicide, homelessness and mental health problems present in queer and trans youth communities.
Committed to accountability and critical self-reflection, Fae strives to stand in solidarity with and support the work of communities impacted by oppression. They believe deeply in the power of young people to unleash for system-change. Fae can be found on Twitter at @FaeJohnstone