BCIT student recognized for work in supporting mental health and wellness

Congratulations to BCIT Business student Paul Irving for being named runner-up winner in the Everyday Champion category of the 2020 Quality Awards, presented by the BC Patient Safety & Quality Council.

This award recognizes the impact that Paul has made on quality of care for patients in BC. His passion and commitment to improving the quality of care for patients extend beyond his formal role in the field of business. Paul has spent over seven years using his professional expertise and personal story to advance mental health awareness and support for children, youth, and families in BC.

Stepping up to be a mental health champion

BCIT Paul Irving
BCIT Business student Paul Irving is recognized for his work in supporting mental health for children, youth, and families in BC. Photo credit: BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

While it isn’t always easy for young people to seek help for their mental health and wellness, Paul’s work in provincial mental health literacy and health promotion has broken down barriers and encouraged youth to share their challenges and connect with the resources they need. His work with educators, family members, and community service providers has guided support workers on how to support the young people in their lives.

After joining the BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH) Health Literacy Team as a youth, Paul supported the planning and delivery of a provincial mental health youth summit for high school students from across the province. He also helped communities across BC host their own events that were tailored to youth in their region – generating lasting impacts locally.

Paul additionally co-presented 13 workshops across BC on mental health literacy along with members of the BCCH Health Literacy Team. His story, which helped remove stigma around mental health, connected with participants and was frequently cited as the most impactful part of the workshops.

SEE MORE: How BCIT is helping high school students develop business leadership

Paul’s impact as a mental health champion goes beyond the audiences that he was able to reach in person. He served as a key advisor on the development of a youth-specific mindfulness app called Breathr, which was developed by the BCCH Health Literacy Team and the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre. He’s also been able to share his story beyond geographic boundaries through the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre podcast, where he was recently featured as a guest.

While no longer involved with the BCCH Health Literacy Team in a formal role, Paul continues to share his story and contribute to mental health awareness projects.

Paul’s work on mobile apps, summits, presentations, websites, podcasts, and other initiatives has reached countless patients and families, and his personal story will continue to empower and inspire youth in need for years to come.

Well done and congratulations to all recipients of the 2020 Quality Awards! We are thankful for the impact that you have made to improve the quality of care for patients in BC.

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