About Sheryl & YMHC

About YMHC’s Executive and Education Director

Sheryl is a passionate educator known for inspiring change with her engaging, inspiring style and practical ideas and strategies. As well as drawing on a wide evidence base, Sheryl’s presentations, workshops, and courses consolidate her background in education, mental health and wellness, human rights and equity, and disability awareness and support.

Sheryl started her teaching career as a Special Education teacher in Zimbabwe, Africa, where she lived for three years. As a teenager, she worked with young people with disabilities and decided to go to university to study education and disability issues. Sheryl brings broad teaching knowledge from working with elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education students in a variety of educational institutions and facilities.

She is the author of five mental wellness journal workbooks, five booklets, and a guidebook on supporting students, a member of the International Association of Youth Mental Health, International Network for School Attendance, International Association for Suicide Prevention, and other organizations focused on youth mental health, suicide prevention, and school attendance.

Sheryl has had the privilege of working with and learning from hundreds of schools, community organizations, professionals, and settings across Canada and around the world.

More about YMHC

Founder and Director of YMHC

Since 2013, Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC) has empowered students, families, educators, community workers, and mental health professionals with the provision of educational resources focused on mental wellness, resilience, strength, and hope. We also provide mental health and wellness education with professional workshops, presentations, and training courses.

YMHC is a not-for-profit, charitable community-based organization, offering essential, accessible, and meaningful resources to support the most important role of all –encouraging the healthy growth of young people. YMHC provides the tools needed to meet the challenges of education, health, and life.

brown and gray wooden tables and chairs

Sheryl has created a national network dedicated to transforming mental health and suicide prevention through evidence, strength, and hope-based educational resources, initiatives, services, workshops, and training. As a registered community-based, youth-driven, and educator-led charitable non-profit organization, we have a strong focus on young people, family, school, and community engagement.

Sheryl Boswell has an eleven-year track record of values-driven work, contributing to provincial and national change in education and support for students with mental health challenges and disabilities. She has actively participated in efforts to decrease suicide risk factors, a cause of utmost importance given that Canada has the third highest youth suicide rate in the industrialized world. For 11 years, Sheryl has been a force for change that has dramatically changed the conversation and educational policies on youth mental health through education on issues
impacting young people.

Sheryl approaches mental health and wellness issues from an intersectional, social justice, and equity perspective. Sheryl’s commitment to human rights issues for all people is evident in her work in the last eleven years with YMHC and beyond that time in her work with refugees, students with disabilities, women’s rights organizations, and literacy groups.

Sheryl is a member of national and international organizations focused on youth mental health, suicide prevention, and school attendance/chronic school absenteeism. We work closely with international experts in these areas and contribute to the development of greater global awareness of youth mental health and suicide prevention issues.

“As rates of anxiety, depression, and suicide among our youth increase, we need creative and approachable solutions. Stigma and lack of awareness are major barriers to getting young people who struggle with mental health differences the help that they need. With this impressive set of resources, Sheryl Boswell breaks down these barriers and offers engaging, evidence-informed mental health resources. The resources developed by Sheryl will allow countless young people and their families to learn strategies that enhance overall wellness and make it easier for educators to tackle tough but increasingly essential topics.”

“The mental wellness series from Sheryl Boswell is something every young person should have. Like a daily fitness routine, the workbooks provide practices and action steps that can help build the mental muscle of resilience for when hard times hit. They also help youth focus on building a life worth living while also putting a personal safety plan in place for when they are challenged by what life throws their way. The tools and resources embodied in these workbooks are best practices in helping youth build the emotional intelligence they will need to survive and thrive now and in the years ahead,” Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, President United Suicide Survivors International and Board Member of American Association of Suicidology (www.SallySpencerThomas.com).

"I see this as a useful resource for many therapists to supplement their “toolkits” as it fits nicely with CBT, DBT, and general suicide prevention approaches."