Can We Talk

Alberta’s teachers are concerned with the well-being of children and youth and understand that children’s physical and mental health needs must be met in order for them to be properly educated. The Alberta Teachers’ Association, the Canadian Mental Health Association and Global television are partnering to promote the mental health of children and youth. The Healthy Minds, Bright Futures program aims to increase awareness of the mental health needs of children and to decrease the stigmatization often associated with mental illness.

For more information on Healthy Minds, Bright Futures, visit


“Can We Talk?” Public Service Announcement

Global television has produced three 30-second advertisements that promote awareness of student mental health issues, emphasize the role of teachers in the student’s support system and discourage stigma surrounding mental illness. To view the ads, visit 

“Can We Talk?” information card

By promoting teacher–student dialogue on mental health issues, these posters help ensure that students are aware of their support systems and discourage the stigmatization that can be associated with mental health issues.

Download info card


Hats On! for Mental Health Day

Note for 2020: Because schools are not in session, we have cancelled Hats On! for Mental Health Day 2020. Information and lesson plans are still available at

On the first Wednesday in May, Albertans are invited to wear a hat to raise awareness of the importance of good mental health. Participating schools will relax their hat rules and encourage students and teachers to build understanding by wearing hats to school. Students will also participate in a coordinated lesson on understanding mental health and the importance of removing the stigma associated with mental illnesses.  


Compassionate Classrooms

Compassionate Classrooms is a reference booklet for teachers about the mental health needs of their students. The most important factor for success in dealing with a mental health issue is support—and teachers are an important part of their students’ support system. This booklet provides teachers with information on common mental health issues, tools to help identify students in need and resources to help teachers make referrals to mental health professionals. Download a copy of Compassionate Classrooms , or order paper copies by contacting Distribution at Barnett House (1‑800‑232‑7208).

Creating Compassionate Classrooms is also available in French.
Download Empathie et bienveillance à l’école .


Local Initiatives

ATA locals are active in promoting mental health awareness, discouraging stigma and supporting the work of the CMHA.

Healty Minds Bright Futures header graphic 

For more information on Healthy Minds, Bright Futures, contact Shelley Magnusson at 1‑800‑232‑7208 (ext 478) or