What is an Animator?
When we think of an Animator, we think of a person who can bring life and colour – from a still image to a moving story. In the Rural Mental Health Project, the Animator is someone who is interested in bringing life to a conversation around supporting mentally healthy communities.
Animators are not meant to be managers, coordinators or experts, but to be facilitative leaders who create and inspire the conditions for community empowerment. This is done by building new relationships and social connections and having exploratory conversations. Animators will go through training to build their capacity and understanding of mental health, mental illness, mentally healthy community and collective decision-making and facilitation. Through their training, Animators will have the tools, expertise, and support to bring together community groups who can collectively become visionaries, decision-makers and do-ers together. The training will build their understanding of mental health, mental illness, wellness, supporting collaborative community-direction setting, and decision-making
Who can be an Animator?
- Anyone living outside of the 7 urban centers in Alberta
- Any community member with an interest in catalyzing a conversation around mental health and wellbeing
- Animators live locally, not a place they wok or travel to, to ensure action teams are truly community-led and owned, while also reducing mileage and demands of Animators having to travel from town to town.
- Connect with the Rural Mental Health Network through the online website and other means
- Convene a community action team with diverse stakeholders
- Encourage and stimulate full participation by all community members; with special attention to those who may be forgotten, marginalized and overlooked in community decision making
- Facilitate ongoing action team meetings over one year
- Help develop trust, tolerance and co-operation among community members;
- Begin and support ongoing collective mapping of community assets, while monitoring social change and new social information relevant to your community;
- Motivate and encourage action team members to work together and to talk to their fellow community members about community well-being;
- Assist with collective decision-making, as the action team determines which pillars and actions need attention
- Empower communities to set direction and work collectively to support a mentally health community;
- Assist the community in collecting or obtaining information and knowledge that may be available;
- Assist community members in generating solutions
- Help create a Transformational Roadmap and action plans with community-leading leading the content
- Encourage and stimulate community members to organize, plan, implement, and monitor actions that they define through Transformational Road Mapping activities aimed at solving their problems;
- Provide community action teams with knowledge, tools, and activities to get community members interested, organized and motivated;
- Assist the community in obtaining available outside resources that align with their Transformational Roadmap activities;
- Assist the community members in developing their own capacity and strength with the goal of the community action team no longer needing an Animator in the future.