Monthly Themes

May: Mental Health

The following is from Alberta Education:

Just like physical health, everyone has mental health. It begins at birth and continues throughout life. Good mental health is not merely the absence of mental health problems.

Students should be healthy so that they can fully participate in school and community activities.

When we are talking about health, it is not just about physical health, but also about mental health. Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness. It is important to take a preventative approach when we know that there may be long term serious consequences.  By using the resources we have today, we will ensure a better tomorrow

The Public Health Agency of Canada describes positive mental health as “the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity”. 

People who are mentally healthy:

  • Have a sense of contentment
  • Can deal with stress and bounce back from adversity
  • Have a sense of purpose and meaning
  • Can build and maintain fulfilling relationships
  • Are flexible and can adapt to change
  • Balance work and play, rest and activity
  • Have self-confidence and high self-esteem

We all have a key role to play

Understanding and promoting positive mental health in schools is a shared responsibility of parents, educators and community partners. Physically and emotionally healthy students are more likely to be successful in school and in life.

There is growing evidence on the long-term value of promoting the positive mental health of children and young people. This is done through shaping early childhood experiences, understanding brain development, positive parenting, early intervention and effective educational services and programs.

We can make a difference through timely action.  By addressing this issue now, we will be better off in the long run. Schools and communities are the perfect environments to promote mental health. Building protective factors, such as self-esteem, emotional resilience, positive thinking, problem-solving and social skills, stress management skills and feelings of mastery. This will help balance negative factors in the lives of children and youth

To be most effective, promoting mental health can be part of a whole school approach, providing education to children, youth and their families, creating partnerships with community agencies, creating positive school environments and policies that support mental wellness

Mental health approaches and practices in schools can help to:

  • Enhance academic achievement and school attendance
  • Increase academic confidence and engagement in learning and in community life
  • Decrease oppositional behaviour and reduction in high risk behaviours, for example tobacco use
  • Increase involvement in community activities and citizenship
  • Enhance respect and appreciation for diversity and individual differences
  • Create welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments

Other resources:

April: Earth Appreciation

Often what helps the environment can also benefit your own health. Here are a few ideas for activities or initiatives to inspire small changes this month:

  • Walk, bike or use public transit 
  • Set up a community garden
  • Swap recipes with family, friends, co-workers, etc. and use local ingredients to make a new meal
  • Plan an adventurous walk/hike
  • Organize a tree-planting day
  • Celebrate Earth Day on April 22
  • Check out ReThink Red Deer:

March: Nutrition Month

March is Nutrition Month! This year the Alberta Health Services theme is Find answers at Dietitians at Alberta Health Services have compiled the most requested information from which is:

  • best buys for healthy eating
  • ways to eat more vegetables and fruit
  • how to make healthy meals and meal ideas
  • how to choose healthy drinks

Further resources:

February: Happy, Healthy Hearts

Every year, the Heart and Stroke Foundation hosts February's Heart Month as a national, community-based fundraising campaign to raise awareness for heart disease and stroke. Knowing heart disease can be prevented by maintaining good physical and mental health, this month's theme is focused on matters of the heart: self-love and compassion. Positive mental health, along with a sense of self-worth, can greatly impact our physical health. 

Click here to open the Heart Healthy Eating Guide by Alberta Health Services.

December: Inclusiveness

Ideas for embracing diversity in the workplace

  • Learn about the cultural backgrounds, lives and interests of employees outside of the workplace. Building relationships through increased understanding and trust helps to foster inclusion
  • Include opportunities for staff to interact in settings outside of work so that employees feel more comfortable. Be creative, flexible and look for new ways of doing things 
  • Ensure all employees have the opportunity to take part in decision-making and planning for social activities
  • Organize collective meals where employees can learn about one another's cultures by sharing food

October: Healthy Workplaces

A healthy workplace helps foster and support good health and an overall healthy lifestyle for all employees. This month, we are encouraged to create an open, welcoming and inclusive workplace for employees to consider healthy food choices, physical activity and energy balance. Check out the following links for more information:

September: Beginning with Breakfast

Alberta Health Services wishes to remind us that breakfast is an important meal to start the day. Eating breakfast helps your child to be more alert during the school day. In fact, kids who eat breakfast are more likely to do well in school and have a healthy body weight.

Discover ways to help make breakfast easy: