AHS, local students expand Sleeve the Stigma campaign

February 5, 2021

South Zone initiative aims to encourage Albertans to seek help for mental illness

MEDICINE HAT – Alberta Health Services (AHS) is partnering with Grade 1-12 students from across the eastern half of AHS South Zone to expand a campaign aiming at reducing stigma attached to mental illness.

The Sleeve the Stigma campaign, which launched in the city two years ago to coincide with Bell Let’s Talk Day, involves students putting handmade, positive mental health messages on coffee cup sleeves. These messages remind Albertans mental health challenges can impact anyone and it’s always OK to seek help.

This year, more than 500 sleeves have been distributed to local coffee shops, with the initiative now expanding to Redcliff, Bow Island, Oyen, Brooks, Tilley, Rosemary, Duchess, Bassano and Taber. The sleeves will be used during this year’s Bell Let’s Talk Day on Jan. 28.

Show off your sleeve by posting #SleeveTheStigma and #bellletstalk on your social media accounts and continue the conversation around mental health. With every use of the hashtag #bellletstalk, five cents will go towards mental health initiatives.

Educating yourself and focusing on people, rather than labels, are keys for combating stigma.
A helpful way to recognize attitudes and actions that contribute to the stigma of mental health conditions is to use the STOP criteria, developed by the Canadian Mental Health Association:

To learn more about how you can get help or support someone you care about, visit www.albertahealthservices.ca/amh/amh.aspx. You can also call the Mental Health Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-877-303-2642 for confidential support and information.

Alberta Health Services is the provincial health authority responsible for planning and delivering health supports and services for more than four million adults and children living in Alberta. Its mission is to provide a patient-focused, quality health system that is accessible and sustainable for all Albertans.