New tool to open discussion on mental health in Canadian classrooms

September 30, 2016

OTTAWA – The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is proud to release a discussion booklet for Grades 5-12 titled — Mental Health Stigma: Challenging it Together! The booklet was developed to help teachers open up classroom discussions on mental health stigma to increase students’ comfort level when talking about mental health.

“Stigma and discrimination are by far the biggest barriers hindering dialogue and support for everyone’s mental health and wellness,” says CTF President Heather Smith. “Findings of a survey we conducted in 2012 with the Mental Health Commission of Canada confirmed that classroom teachers often face systemic, professional and personal barriers when dealing with the many individual student mental health challenges in the classroom.

“When we can help youth better understand the issue of mental health, and address the century old stereotypes and stigma, we can raise awareness, promote understanding, acceptance, and empathy which can go a long way in breaking down the stigma that surrounds a complex illness.

“We hope this booklet will help to foster a safe and caring environment for students and allow them to open up and talk about stigma in a most compassionate manner,” concludes Smith.

The booklet is available for purchase through CTF’s Publications Catalogue.

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is a national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations that represent over 231,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada. CTF is also a member of Education International. @CanTeachersFed



Heather Smith, CTF President


Francine Filion, CTF Communications Director,
Office: 613-688-4314, or cell: 613-899-4247
[email protected]