WINNIPEG, MB - The True North Youth Foundation (TNYF) received a $10,000 grant from the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund during the first ever P11 Mental Wellness Summit.
Introduced in 2015 in memory of Manitoba Moose and Winnipeg Jets player Rick Rypien, Project 11 is a preventative cross-curricular program centred around helping students in grades 5-8 develop positive mental health coping skills to deal with life's daily stressors. The project also aims to remove the stigma and fear of judgement that can accompany mental wellness issues, while enhancing students' academic performance.
"We are very grateful to Bell Let's Talk for this grant, which will go a long way in introducing Project 11's mental wellness messages and curriculum to northern classrooms," said Suzi Friesen, Director of Educational Programming with the True North Youth Foundation. "We receive many requests for speakers in remote and northern communities, and this funding will help us to connect students and teachers with new resources, as well as reinforce the importance of peer-to-peer connections and open communication when managing issues that affect mental wellness."
The Bell Let's Talk Community Fund grant will be used to facilitate Project 11 teacher training and classroom presentations in Northern Manitoba starting this school year. Eight northern Manitoba classrooms are currently participating in Project 11, and the program's resources will be of great benefit to more schools in this region.
"Bell Let's Talk is very proud to support the expansion of the True North Youth Foundation's Project 11 to increase student participation in northern regions of the province," said Dan McKeen, Bell's Vice Chair, Bell MTS & Western Canada. "In 2017, the Bell Let's Talk Community Fund provided 70 grants to support programs providing mental health services in communities around the country. We recently announced the fund will be doubled starting this year, so we look forward to supporting the work of many more community organizations in 2018."
This school year, more than 500 educators from 200 schools have implemented Project 11 curriculum. This translates to more than 11,500 students discussing mental wellness more openly, and gaining skills and strategies to help them cope more effectively with challenges and stress in their school, personal and future work life.
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