This week Canadians recognize Bell Let’s Talk Day on January 28, 2021. This day has been dedicated to raising awareness of good mental wellness, erasing mental health stigma and letting those who struggle know that there are many avenues for support – we are never alone.
This past year has been a greater struggle than years past as a result of the global pandemic with children, youth and adults experiencing challenges with maintaining positive mental health. While Bell Let’s Talk Day is important, we know that good mental health does not take a vacation the other 364 days of the year.
Recognizing this, as part of their Grade 8 Health Unit, Andrea Cook’s Grade 8 class at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy set out to provide support and hope for their peers from Kindergarten right through to Grade eight. Beginning in the fall, they started work on ‘Grit and Resilience Week’ to coincide with Bell Let’s Talk Day, creating a resource toolkit for the school’s primary, junior and intermediate students.
“The Grade 8 health curriculum expectations call for students to engage with mental health literacy and routines and habits for sustainable positive mental health,” Ms. Cook said. “We began by exploring resources that inspired positive mental health traits which led to students exploring and cultivating media such as songs, prayers, videos and quotes, that encapsulated how people show grit and resilience in exhibiting that trait.”
From there, both in-person and remote learners collaborated in preparing presentations for their peers that included themed days and extension activities. These activities were designed to allow for reflection, mindfulness and provide some skill building in self-regulation and stress management. Students at St. Gregory the Great Catholic Academy will have the opportunity to explore the tool kits this week and the digital resource has been collated as part of the school’s digital library for future use by staff and students.