Don Mahleka (he/him) is an Associate with Wisdom2Action (W2A) based on the traditional territory of the Haudenosaunee and Anishnaabeg in Hamilton, Ontario. He’s experienced in program development and change management. For over a decade, he has worked to improve innovation in the mental health system with extensive experience in community-based research and national policy development. Don also has experience co-hosting national and international youth mental health conferences. As an avid advocate for youth mental health promotion, Don co-founded, Revolutionary Lives, a local youth mental health radio show that engaged and empowered youth voices from high schools and post-secondary institutions across Hamilton. Don and the radio show team have hosted youth mental health conferences, where they advocated for a city-wide youth mental health strategy and focused on addressing barriers to accessing community, health and social services for racialized youth. They also facilitated focus groups and provided key consultation for the implementation of the Youth Wellness Centre, Hamilton’s first transition-aged youth mental health program.
Don has served on several nonprofit boards and provided strategic direction to a variety of organizations. Having immigrated to Canada from Zimbabwe, Don is especially skilled in promoting diversity and supporting organizations in developing an anti-racism and anti-oppression framework.
Don is currently on the Executive Advisory Committee for the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s development of a national mental health standard for post-secondary institutions. Don is also providing advisory support to the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health to develop a Harm Reduction Resource for youth and develop courses and workshops for the CAMH Recovery College.