Tipping Point mental health movement to launch student-directed “labs”

Ji Youn Kim, creator of the Tipping Point movement, is launching a self-development program called Tip Labs. The Tipping Point is a mental health initiative that encourages UBC and other post-secondary institutions to better support and accommodate students and their mental health, and the labs are developing directly out of this framework.

“This self-development program is based on the idea that success starts within,” said Kim. “You need to start working on yourself first before you can really succeed in the real world.”

The Tip Labs are scheduled to launch sometime next month, and the launch event will be on January 28 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at City Hub Initiative located in downtown Vancouver.

Kim strives to create a “community-based, affordable self-development program” that will be founded on the three pillars of health and wellness, personal development, and professional development.

The Tip Lab program will be accepting 8 to 10 students in order for Kim to create personalized portfolios for each participant, in which their interests, strengths and learning tendencies will be outlined. Classes are to take place once a week over the course of eight weeks, with each class being three hours long.

“I still really believe in post-secondary education — I just don’t think it prepares students well enough for the real world. A lot of students graduate, and are overworked and in a lot of financial debt. I think this is really problematic. The goal is to make sure they feel more prepared.”

In regards to better preparing students, Kim will be exploring various topics throughout her eight-week program, each of which will adhere to one of the three main pillars. The first pillar, health and wellness, will address “all types of health [such as] physical, mental, emotional and spiritual” with a slight emphasis on that of mental health.

The program’s second pillar of personal development will explore the idea of purpose, as Kim finds that “a lot of students are lost regarding what they want to do after graduation. I’m saying, let’s figure this out together before you invest thousands of dollars.” 

The final pillar of professional development will connect Kim’s students to the many resources and mentors she has connected with since the creation of the original Tipping Point initiative. Kim announced that BrainStation Vancouver, a technology school located in Yaletown, has agreed to provide her students with scholarships to their programs.

Aside from the Tip Labs, Kim will also be hosting monthly Tip Talks, which will be monthly discussion groups beginning on February 1 at 6 p.m. in the Nest. The first Tip Talk will be exploring topics surrounding mental health identities.

“People’s relationships with their mental illness can be really difficult. Is it just a part of my identity? Is it my entire identity, and what is the language you use when describing it? I want to create a safe space where you can talk about the depths of mental health,” said Kim. “I want to be able to discuss things like identity issues, trauma and suicide, because these things are happening whether or not we talk about them.”