Don Mahleka is the co-founder of a youth mental health radio show in Hamilton, Ontario called Revolutionary Lives, which strives to reduce stigma, empower youth through leadership and creative outlets, and collaborate with existing resources in the mental health system. Don and the radio show team have hosted two youth-led mental health conferences, wherein they advocated for a city-wide youth mental health strategy and were instrumental in the youth engagement process of Hamilton’s first Youth Transition Mental Wellness Centre by St Joseph’s Hospital.
Having moved to Canada from Zimbabwe, Don is especially interested in promoting diversity and collaboration among providers of youth mental health services. Don has been elected onto various boards like the African Canadian Network of Hamilton and Hamilton Community Legal Clinic as a youth representative. He is currently part of the Rainbows End board, a Hamilton social enterprise that employs people with lived experience of mental illness. He brings personal experiences with depression and anxiety to the Youth Council. Don sees himself as a combination of advocate, friend and mentor for youth. He enjoys self-care through poetry, dance, oil painting and lots of various ethnic foods