The Stigma-Free Society is bound and determined to continue to educate youth on mental health issues and combat stigma of all kinds. With COVID-19 putting a halt to our school presentations, we decided to create a new online Stigma-Free COVID-19 Youth Wellness Toolkit.
Our new online COVID-19 Toolkit Program will inform educators and students in grades 4-6 and grades 7-12 about mental well-being, with an emphasis on living a Stigma-Free life. Without significant guidance and support, many young people may end up suffering in silence and isolation. The COVID-19 Toolkit Program will work to eliminate this harmful reality, and instead, provide tools and resources in a home learning environment that opens up conversations free of stigma, particularly about mental health while encouraging overall wellness. We are excited to be able to provide an extremely useful online resource for not only our youth and teens but also for parents and educators.
Here are just a few of the areas we are including in the online COVID-19 Wellness Toolkit:
- Daily updated information from reputable sources on COVID-19 and its impact on Canadians;
- Resources and mental health assessments for youth and teens, so they are able to check in on their mental health;
- Activity ideas for both youth and teens to help them stay busy when they are unable to see friends in person, or participate in their regular extracurricular activities;
- A parent resource section with “Stigma-Free Conversation Cards” that provide parents with questions to ask their children to spark conversations about COVID-19 and mental health;
- The website features a Comic Book called, “Ben’s Story,” which highlights a young person’s approach to the COVID-19 situation;
- Numerous illustrated animations and a 10 Tips for Mental Health Booklet showcases healthy avenues for youth to care for their mental well-being;
- Resources that are youth and teen-friendly so they can navigate the site themselves and learn more about COVID-19 and mental health; and
- Live events that include Q&A’s with a psychologist, workouts with a fitness professional and so much more!
The Stigma-Free Society’s plans to launch our new COVID-19 Youth Wellness Toolkit on April 13, 2020, and we are working hard to create an incredible site that parents, educators, youth and teens can easily navigate and learn from. During these uncertain times, it is important for our youth to feel connected and educated on what is happening in the world around them. We are striving to create a program that provides accurate and important information in a helpful and non-scary way.
It is more important than ever that our youth learn about mental health and wellness, and take steps to help maintain their mental health every day. We hope that our site will provide them with the information they need to stay in a positive state of mental health and also provide resources for them should they find themselves struggling with their new reality.
Stay tuned for more information. We are also open to suggestions, so if you have an idea of what you’d like to see included in the Stigma-Free COVID-19 Youth Wellness Toolkit, please don’t hesitate to contact us with your ideas at [email protected]
~Author, Lindsay Goulet, Community Development Manager