There are numerous stigmas in society, such as mental health issues, that contribute to many young people feeling alienated and not being accepted and understood by their peers. This Program encourages students to be agents of change by learning about the stigmas that cause others to be seen as ‘different.’ Students learn about the trauma caused by bullying and recognize the negative consequences. Most importantly, youth are prompted to take action against stigma in their school and as part of their daily lives. The Stigma-Free Zone Program also offers community presentations in workplaces, non-profit societies, and additional organizations in Metro Vancouver and Victoria, B.C.
The Stigma-Free Zone School Presentations Program, sponsored by Coast Mental Health, launched in schools in March, 2016 building on the former Bipolar Babes Stigma Stomp presentations for grades 7-12. Since 2010, the Society has delivered classroom presentations to nearly 10,000 students across British Columbia. The Stigma-Free Zone Program offers students the opportunity to “claim” their classroom, and eventually their school, as a ‘Stigma-Free Zone.’
Stigma-Free Zone School Presentations’ Summary
- Classroom Presenters share an introduction on the topic of mental health stigma with powerful impacting images surrounding the subject of mental illness. They encourage discussion among students and initially engage them on the topic of mental illness stigma.
- Presenters share their personal and inspiring story of living with and managing mental illness, which emphasizes that we all have struggles, but no matter what our challenges, we can live extraordinary lives.
- The conversation about stigma is expanded upon as Presenters educate youth on the various stigmas in society with impacting images and stories of inspiring people who face stigma, but have demonstrated outstanding resiliency.
- The Program provides a take away Stigma-Free Zone Rack Card that directs youth to our website, specifically the Help Page via a QR link that can be scanned with their cell phones to access resources. This innovative rack card is a tool that encourages youth to continue the conversation about stigma with their parents and friends.
- The presentation has a brief Q&A period where students are open to ask questions and engage in discussion.
- Youth complete a brief survey and share their hand-written reflections on their learnings from the presentation. Our Classroom Presenter follows up with teachers and all student feedback is submitted to them, but remains anonymous to allow for genuine reflections. Teachers also complete a Program Score Card, which provides an opportunity for feedback and evaluation.
- Students are encouraged to take the Stigma-Free Test after their school day is complete and they have had the rest of the day to ponder on their learnings. This allows youth to make a comparison from date of completion to visiting the test at a later date and discern whether their views about stigma have changed.
- Students are given a ’10 Tips for Mental Health Management’ hand-out to ensure they reflect on ways to stay mentally well.
Meet Your Stigma-Free Zone Presenters
Our Stigma-Free Zone Superheroes Program presentations are created to be delivered in a classroom environment as they are personal and interactive. We enjoy presenting to generally 30 students at a time, but we do also encourage doubling up classes with a maximum number of 60 students.
A stigma-free certificate is provided to the class and teachers display it in the school to create a ‘Stigma-Free Zone.’
Feel free to take our Stigma-Free Pledge and work toward living a stigma-free life!
To book a FREE Stigma-Free Zone Superheroes presentation or for more information contact us today!
Create a stigma-free zone with your students and encourage awareness, understanding and acceptance
Sponsored by Coast Mental Health