Youth Mental Health Education

YouthSMART offers a popular menu of mental health learning sessions and engagement opportunities for all Calgary and area schools, youth groups, and sports leagues serving youth aged 12-24. All sessions are age-appropriate, interactive, and flexible between virtual delivery and in-person facilitation. *In-person speakers will maintain all current Alberta health orders and your school or organization’s prevention policies.
Youth Mental Health

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Book a session or visit our YouthSMART website for more youth mental health resources.

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As we all continue to support youth through the midst of COVID-19, Canadian Mental Health Association – Calgary Region recognizes that school and community-based mental health education is more important than ever. As such, we are excited to invite your school or community group to schedule YouthSMART learning opportunities for your students and youth participants.

“These are heavy topics that are sometimes difficult to discuss, and you really opened it up to a place that kids feel comfortable and confident to be a part of these important discussions. As an educator for years, I am thankful to have you come both in person and online to give these meaningful presentations.”

-Adapted from Teacher feedback following YouthSMART learning sessions

Stress Management and Healthy Coping

Understanding stress is foundational in maintaining personal health and wellness. This interactive learning session provides an overview of what the stress response is, and how it affects the body and mind. Youth will develop an awareness of their own particular stressors, and how to cope with stress in healthy ways. (45-90 minute workshop, offered to individual classes or groups)

Mental Health Awareness

This learning session breaks down common misconceptions surrounding mental health and mental illnesses and promotes a preventative approach to wellness. Youth gain a comprehensive introduction to stigma, the common warning signs for mental health concerns, and the resources available for help. (45-90 minute workshop, delivered to individual classes or groups)

Skills for Being There

There is no perfect formula for helping someone, but you can strengthen your supportive skills. This learning session outlines how youth might recognize if someone is in distress, while improving their listening, communication, and helping abilities. (45-90 minute workshop, delivered to individual classes or groups)

Suicide Prevention

This learning session provides a compassionate and informative discussion around preventing suicide, as it seeks to dispel myths, outline warning signs, and connect youth to professional resources. (45-90 minute workshop, delivered to individual classes or groups)

Community Helpers

Offered in partnership with Alberta Health Services, the Community Helpers training follows a peer support model, and understands that every community has natural helpers willing to support their peers in times of need. Through this training youth are able to build mental health equity in their community by understanding common mental health language, identifying levels of concern, connecting to resources, and utilizing appropriate self-care techniques. (Typically 8-14 hours of training, delivered to individual classes, groups or nominated youth)

Peer Gatekeepers

Research shows that youth and emerging adults will most likely first discuss their personal issues with a peer. Having access to a well-trained and empathetic peer who appropriately supports their mental health may be crucial for young people, and their willingness to reach out and seek help. The Peer Gatekeepers training will offer a community-focused, peer support learning opportunity, specifically focused on individuals aged 16 and older. (Typically 18-20 hours of training, delivered to individual community groups or nominated youth)

SMART Leaders Challenge

A small group of identified youth mental health ambassadors or “SMART Leaders” work together, with your assistance to plan awareness activities or campaigns unique to their own school or community. SMART Leaders are provided with toolkits, as well as personalized support from qualified CMHA staff to help them create fun, engaging campaigns to bring the mental health and anti-stigma message to their peers. (Ongoing, participating groups work at their own pace)