Hat campaign raises mental health awareness in schools

April 21, 2017 Shelley Magnusson, ATA Executive Staff Officer

Various awareness efforts set to roll during Mental Health Week

As part of Mental Health Week, the Alberta Teachers’ Association is encouraging all schools to relax their “no-hats” rules on May 3 to promote Hats On for Mental Health, a day-long campaign that aims to introduce the subject of mental health to students, to reduce stigma and encourage students to ask questions about mental health.

The Association’s commitment to student mental health was solidified in 2009 when it entered into a partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA). This partnership has become known as Healthy Minds, Bright Futures. The partnership’s aim is to promote children’s positive mental health, to increase awareness about children’s mental health needs and to decrease the stigmatization often associated with mental illness.

In 2010 Global Television became involved as a full partner to provide a television campaign designed to build awareness for the Healthy Minds, Bright Futures campaign, with the long-term goal of helping parents, children and the community understand and recognize the importance of student mental health and the role of teachers.

The Association is working closely with CMHA and other partners to promote Mental Health Week in ­Alberta.
The ATA also developed the Can We Talk campaign, which includes a website and television advertisement that will hit the Global airwaves during Mental Health Week. Among the resources that are accessible via the Can We Talk website (canwetalk.ca) are lesson plans for teachers and a booklet entitled Creating a Compassionate Classroom, which contains a wealth of information that is important for parents, students and teachers.


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