Now, more than ever, education around mental health and the numerous stigmas in society is needed. The stigmas that exist, particularly around mental health, prevent young people from reaching out for help.
Welcome to the Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations!
Our in-person presentations launched in schools in March 2016, and reached over 50,000 students. We have now adapted our former Stigma-Free Zone School Presentations so that we can provide mental health education virtually. This virtual experience enables schools to continue to increase the number of students being educated on various stigmas, especially those that surround mental illness.
How Does It All Work?
The Society’s virtual presentations program offers LIVE 45-minute sessions for students via an online platform, where a presenter shares about their journey with stigma and the intersecting mental health issues they have faced. The program also provides a co-presenter who facilitates the online presentation based on their deep knowledge about mental health.
We work hand-in-hand with each school to schedule a virtual presentation. This presentation includes either a series of shorter documentary-style videos or one 50-minute documentary on various mental illnesses and other stigmas.
The Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations are generally offered by donation to the Stigma-Free Society.
In past years, schools and/or districts have made a donation to the Society for receiving a presentation at their school. However, the Society recognizes that a donation is not always possible, and presenters can virtually visit schools on a no-cost basis.
Participating schools will also gain full access to the Student Mental Health Toolkit.
Please go HERE to request full access.
The Student Mental Health Toolkit provides access to a robust and engaging documentary series that is offered as part of the Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations.
The Virtual Stigma-Free Presentations also include access to an Educator’s Guide, Student Activities, and Mental Wellness Lesson Plans.
The Virtual Stigma-Free School Program Step-by-Step Process:
- Schools book a presentation by contacting us here.
- The school uses this section that includes short documentary-style videos, or a full 50-minute documentary, and accompanying lesson plans to help discuss various stigmas with students.
- Educators complete the lesson plan prior to students watching the video(s).
- Students watch the documentary video(s).
- Students write down anonymous questions on pieces of paper that can be used during the Q&A portion of the virtual presentation.
- Presenters join students virtually for a LIVE 45-minute session via an online platform, where a presenter shares about their journey with stigma and the intersecting mental health issues they have faced. The program also provides a co-presenter that facilitates the online presentation based on their deep knowledge around mental health.
- Students participate in an interactive Q&A session with virtual Stigma-Free presenters.
- Students complete a brief survey and share their hand-written reflections on their learnings from the presentation. Student feedback is anonymously submitted online or on paper to allow for genuine reflection. Teachers also complete a program scorecard, which provides an opportunity for feedback and evaluation.
- Students are encouraged to take the Stigma-Free Tool sometime after their school day is complete, once they have had a chance to ponder their learning. Revisiting the Tool at a later date allows youth to discern whether their views about stigma have changed over time.
- Students and educators are encouraged to use the Student Mental Health Toolkit for further learning on mental health and stigma.