Mario Toneguzzi’s guests on Business Insider: James Gamage, Director of Innovation and The Social Impact Lab at the United Way, and Jason Gotwalt, Director of Sales and Partnerships with headversity, discuss the United Way’s first-ever Spring campaign.

The campaign is a means of creating awareness of important social issues year round, and not solely during United Way month in September. The Spring Campaign is focused on mental health and social inclusion – two interconnected issues having a profound impact on our community.

After more than a year of COVID-19, many people across Calgary and area have found themselves even more isolated, lacking the technology to connect with family and friends, or access online learning tools, financial support, or other services vital to their well-being.

At the same time, mental health indicators have declined:

–  50 per cent of Calgarians report feeling depressed due to the pandemic;

–  Distress Centre Calgary cites a 41 per cent increase in suicide-related contacts in 2020 compared to 2019 (Jan 26-December 31 in each year); and

–  In 2020, 36 per cent of Albertans reported feeling isolated and lonely.

Two new tools are now available to help Calgarians improve their mental health and find inclusion in their community.

Adaptive YYC

AdaptiveYYC, is a free, personalized resilience training initiative that helps workforces buffer against stress, build emotional well-being, and lead more resilient and purposeful lives. Developed in partnership with headversity, AdaptiveYYC offers non-profits and small businesses 24/7 personalized support, on-demand webinars, individual training, and skill-building through the headversity platform. Up to 10,000 individual licenses are available free of charge to Calgary non-profits, government-funded organizations, and small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 200 employees. for Calgary non-profits, government-funded organizations, and small- and medium-sized enterprises with fewer than 200 employees.

Natural Supports 2.0

The Natural Supports YYC simulation is an online interactive experience that provides capacity and skill building tools for adults to support kids’ mental health. Developed in partnership with The Social Impact Lab, this online tool helps adults learn to actively listen, validate emotions, remove the stigma around mental health, and engage in supportive conversations with children and youth. The scenario-based simulation allows the adult to choose a support role (Parent or Caregiver, Teacher or Coach, and Friend or Relative), and area of concern (anxiousness, sadness, and self-harm). The program provides a story based on their choices, and walks the participant through a series of questions to help them become skilled and confident in having supportive conversations with children and youth.

 

 

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