CMHA Manitoba and Winnipeg offer two tiers of school-based youth mental health promotion programs: MILE 5 and Headstrong Anti-Stigma Summits.
MILE 5 reduces stigma around mental health and mental illness and increases help-seeking behaviours in youth. The program was positively evaluated by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, which showed significant decreases in social stereotypes about mental health and positive increases in social acceptance in students.
Headstrong Summits brings together students from various schools, along with school staff (teachers and administrators), to learn about mental health problems and mental illnesses and stigma, and to challenge the stereotypes and misconceptions that fuel stigma.
CMHA’s program is delivered by youth-focused and highly-knowledgeable staff. All programs incorporate speakers with lived experience of mental health issues, who complete ten weeks of speaker training through the CMHA.
MILE 5 – Mental Illness Literacy Education – 5 Day Program
MILE 5 is a program that promotes mental health literacy and decreases stigmatizing attitudes in young people. The program prepares youth to reach out when they need mental health support, and seeks to change the social stigma around mental illness so that youth who do reach out do so within supportive, empathetic and educated communities. The engaging curriculum includes speakers who talk about and take questions on their lived experience with mental illness in their youth and their journey of recovery.
MILE 5 is delivered in the classroom during one school period over five consecutive days primarily to students in grades 7, 9, and 11.
The week is structured as follows:
- Day 1: Developing an understanding of stigma
- Day 2: Developing an awareness of different kinds of mental health concerns
- Day 3: Building empathy among each other using interactive exercises and videos
- Day 4: Listening to the stories of two people with lived experience of a mental health problem discuss their personal, hopeful story of their journey of recovery that impacted them in their youth
- Day 5: Finding your “Resource Ripple”, an activity that connects youth with resources available to them in their school and their nearby community. Students learn about resources available to them.
MILE 5 Speakers
A summit combines large presentations and small breakout sessions which feature speakers, experiential exercises, discussion, and action planning. In combination with MILE 5, summits work to shift attitudes, provide contact-based education for youth, foster action planning for students and school staff to bring awareness activities to their schools, provide connections with community based organizations, and demonstrate tangible results.
For a copy of the full evaluation of the MILE 5 evaluation report, “Opening Minds in High School: Results of a Contact Based Anti-Stigma Intervention MILE 5, Winnipeg CMHA,” click here.
For a full description of Headstrong Summit, go to http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/initiatives-and-projects/headstrong
CMHA is now booking for 2016-2017 School Year
Bill Burrows, Manager, Information and Education Services
Youth Mental Health Promotion Workshops
For information and to request Youth Mental Health Promotion Services workshops, click here.