What a year 2020 has been!
As with most everything and everyone, the Stigma-Free Society continues to adapt to rules and regulations dictated by this incredible global pandemic we are living through. We’d like to offer our sincerest gratitude to everyone in the Stigma-Free community who continue to support us, get involved and expand our message through our online Toolkits, lesson plans and now our Virtual Stigma-Free School Presentations!
While we didn’t ever see our education programs having to go virtual, this is a reality and is, in fact, one that we are excited to launch and grow!
Before Covid-19 became a global pandemic, our Stigma-Free Zone School Program involved an hour-long, in-person presentation to elementary, middle and high schools. Topics varied depending on the age-group but the overall goal was to bring awareness, education and acceptance of various stigmas to students, oftentimes focusing on mental health. Our School Program has been running for 10+ years, reaching 50,000+ students across British Columbia, Canada.
We have always received extremely positive feedback from our in-person school presentations, so when Covid-19 became our reality, our team worked to develop a new way to continue to provide awareness and education to students through a virtual platform.
The most incredible thing? We truly believe that our new Virtual School Presentation Program will open doors to getting information and education to more schools and therefore – more students.
How Does it Work?
In our Virtual Stigma-Free School Program, educators and school counsellors will either receive 10+ professional documentary style short video clips (each 3-10 minutes in length) or one lengthier 50-minute professional documentary, depending on what topic(s) the school/educator/counsellor decides to focus on.
These videos encompass mental health topics and personal stories, accompanied by a Step-by-Step Guide for Educators with questions and activities for students.
After the videos are shown, one of our Stigma-Free Society Presenters joins the conversation with students via Microsoft Teams or Zoom (or whatever virtual platform your school uses) to provide an additional 10-15 minute presentation on their personal story. Subsequent to sharing their story, our presenter then provides an interactive Q&A session on the documentary and/or their personal journey.
For more information on our Stigma-Free Virtual Presenters, please CLICK HERE and scroll down to see all our presenters listed along with their strengths and topics of expertise.
In Summary, the Virtual Stigma-Free School Program includes:
- Pre-Lesson Plans that educators or school counsellors can use before the day of the Interactive Q&A session with Stigma-Free Society Presenters, including additional helpful resources and activities.
- A Step-by-Step Guide for Educators to help guide students through the professional documentary style videos. This document includes“Guiding Questions” to help the educator/counsellor on the day that the interactive Q&A takes place.
- The Documentary Style Video(s) decided on by the school/educator/counsellor in an easy-to-find format to help educate your students about stigma and mental health.
- A Virtual Interactive Q&A with one of our Stigma-Free Virtual Presenters.
- Follow-Up Stigma-Free Activities document, sent after your Presentation to help educators/counsellors continue the conversation on stigma and mental health throughout the year.
We hope that you’re as excited about this incredible opportunity as we are! If you think your school might like to participate or if you’re a parent that wants to get your school involved, please email us at [email protected] for more information.
Parents, educators, counsellors – let’s make sure our kids are educated on stigma, mental health and how to be kind, supportive individuals for life – not only as a maneuver through this global pandemic. What your child learns in our Virtual Stigma-Free School Presentation can be used throughout their entire life – let’s keep education on mental health at the forefront of our minds for years to come – these presentations could be the simple start to valuable life-long education.
Let’s get to it!
Author, Lindsay Goulet, Community Development Manager, SFS