All students, parents, teachers and education staff are invited to take part in free online sessions on mental health and wellness. Activities include a performance and message from Alberta country music singer Brett Kissel, inspirational messages from the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames and others, as well as fun, age-appropriate activities for children and youth led by Alberta Health Services, Ever Active Schools and Jack.org. Sessions for adults include talks by the College of Alberta School Superintendents, resilience expert Michael Ungar, clinical psychologist Jody Carrington and RESPECT Group co-founder Sheldon Kennedy.
To accommodate busy end-of-year school schedules, most sessions will be recorded and available to view online afterwards. Detailed information about the event, including how to attend, is available online.
“I want to acknowledge that this has been an incredibly challenging school year in many ways. I truly commend our teachers and education staff for their ability to rise to those challenges to meet the needs of their students. Thank you! The resilience of our students, parents, teachers, support staff, administrators and everyone in our education system is extremely remarkable. I hope these online sessions offer valuable tools, lessons, encouragement and an enjoyable break as we look forward to completing the school year and enjoying a relaxing summer ahead.”
“Mental wellness day is an opportunity for youth to continue having open conversations with educators and peers about their wellness. Students will have an opportunity to start building resiliency with their peers and learn new strategies to support their own mental wellness. Thank you to Minister LaGrange and Alberta’s school authorities for organizing this uplifting and inspiring day for our youth.”
“Focusing on our mental and emotional health is so, so key. Sometimes it's easy to forget to be mindful of how we actually feel mentally – but it's important to take time each and every day to check in. Find something that works for you – go for a walk, take a social media break, list out things you're grateful for or review your short- and long-term goals; we do this in my family daily and it truly leads to clarity, a healthier mind, and ultimately greater happiness. I’m excited to spend some time with you talking more about this on June 3 for Alberta Education’s Mental Wellness Day.”
“Educators do some of the most important work on the planet, especially now in this wake of a year-and-a-half-long pandemic. Looking after them is the priority; if they're not okay, our kids won't be either. I look forward to leading this important session in June.”
Alberta Education has a budget of $25,000 for this event.
Alberta’s government has provided more than $53 million during this school year to make it easier for students, families and all Albertans to access mental health information, supports and referrals.
Funding has supported the Kids Help Phone, Mental Health Helpline and Addiction Helpline. In addition, Alberta’s government has partnered with Jack.org to create a resource hub for youth mental health, which includes many free online tools designed for youth.
Help is out there
- If you know a child or youth needs someone to talk to, they can reach the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868 or by texting 68-68-68.
- The Mental Health Help Line is a free 24-7 confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing mental health concerns. It can be reached at 1-877-303-2642
- The Addiction and Mental Health Help Line is a free 24-7 confidential service that provides support, information and referrals to Albertans experiencing addiction and mental health concerns. It can be reached at 1-866-332-2322.