The District Mental Health Literacy Specialist for School District 52 (Prince Rupert, B.C.) used a Healthy Schools BC Regional Grant to create a mental health colouring book called Gyskeem Goot (which means ‘calm heart’ in the local First Nations language). The pages that make up the book were drawn by students from grades 4-12. They are adorned with tips, information, and strategies for creating positive mental health. Once all of the entries were submitted they were compiled and 1000 copies were printed. The books were then distributed to all schools in Prince Rupert for students to use and enjoy. The district liaised with a regional lead at Northern Health for input on information to include in the mental health colouring book.
Feedback from the project showed that the mental health colouring book was successful in increasing students’ knowledge of mental health and coping strategies, and sharing vital information about mental health support in the community. But not only was the final product beneficial, the process was also beneficial for students. Some educators took the project on as a classroom and devoted time for students to create their colouring book entries. As students worked on them they discussed mental health, and what it means to them. The more conversations students have about mental health the less stigma there will be. Therefore, a key success of this initiative were the conversations surrounding mental health that it sparked among youth.