Positive mental health will be the key message as over a dozen schools in Grande Prairie will be taking part in Youth Week. The four day event, which kicks off Monday, will provide video presentations for students, focusing on the importance of mental health awareness, especially during such unprecedented times like they’re currently facing.

Andrea Salway with the Mental Wellness Matters Society says they’re taking a different approach to mental health, with an emphasis on being proactive.

“The messages, tools, and tips delivered are things that we can do to teach them to be proactive about their mental health, rather than reactive when things go wrong,” she says.

Salway says with COVID-19 continuing to affect the everyday lives of both students and their parents, she believes there is no better time than now to try and push that message of awareness, as it could make a critical difference.

“I think a lot of people are just surviving, and are in survival mode, and we need to sort of have that awareness, especially in the young people so that when they do become adults and begin floundering around like we are [right now],” she says.

“I don’t think my generation had that awareness, it was always just head down and go.”

Salway says multiple classes within the dozen or so schools will be taking part in the video programming over the next four days. She adds classes from the Grande Prairie Public District, Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools, and Peace Wapiti Public School Division are all taking part.