Russell was one of over 200 students who attended the YouthSMART (Youth Supporting Mental Health and Resiliency Together) Summit in Calgary on Monday. It’s designed to generate awareness of mental health topics and open a dialogue among peers.
“We are seeing that kids need support younger and younger and I think that’s part of the increased awareness,” said Joy Pavelich, communications leader with the Canadian Mental Health Association in Calgary.
Organizers said the tips these students get at the summit will help create a whole-school approach to supporting each other.
“It’s about a safe environment and conversations where people don’t feel like they are different and they have to carry those things alone,” Pavelich said. “Because there’s so many different situations that can be affecting the person’s well-being. So we really want to make sure they know there are trusted people in their lives they can reach out to.”