My name is Kausalya Vimal (aka Showkace), a social worker (BSW, MSW, RSW), dancer, and a strong believer in fusing my two passions to bring awareness of mental health issues and overall well-being.
With my 10+ years of experience in social work, I want to provide something different for children and youth in my community.
In May 2017, I introduced “Showkace”to the public through my social media platforms on YouTube and Instagram. In 2018, my website and clothing line was launched. I always knew that music and dance are universal and that we can all share our stories through movement and expression.
I have experienced moments in my life where I knew my mental health was suffering. Being in the field, I had resources and support to help me cope. However, I often wondered about children and youth, especially newcomers who had little to no support. This issue was something my family and I experienced when we first immigrated to Canada in 1992. My parents had little support and did not know how to navigate the system for their children.
In 2014, I entered grad school at Ryerson University to complete my masters in Social Work. I took it upon myself to focus my major research paper on children/youth newcomers, their struggle in schools, and the lack of programs and services focused on mental health for these children during their transition period. I also focused my research on how social workers delivered their services and evaluated the effectiveness of these services. One thing I knew was that schools needed more social workers and more programs designed to focus on children and youth and their mental health.
I designed my own program in a way that incorporates dance and music, followed by workshops. These workshops deliver accessible information and resources that children and youth can receive in their community. I noticed that children/youth do not enjoy nor engage well when brought into an office to talk about theirs issues while a professional is taking notes or completing assessments.
“Children/youth love music and dance. They spend much of their time memorizing lyrics to a new hit single or learning a new dance move. Why not use these tools to assist in creating a more comfortable space and open dialogue about issues they face on their own terms?”
Showkace was created so that children and youth are able to express themselves in ways that make them feel comfortable. They have the opportunity to showcase their stories and experiences so they can relate to one another and break the stigma around mental health issues.
My long term goal is to obtain funding to run my program in schools, community centres, children/youth organizations, hospitals and health care centres across the GTA. My experiences brought me here, and with those experiences I hope to support many children, youth and families.