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Kickstand and Alberta Blue Cross® launch supportive message service for young people in Alberta.

April 7, 2021

MoreGoodDays program launching to provide young people with text-based mental health support

Alberta Blue Cross® and the Mental Health Foundation are partnering with Kickstand to launch MoreGoodDays—a mental wellness messaging service that delivers daily advice and inspiration to young people’s phones.

Starting today, young people across Alberta can text ‘MoreGoodDays’ to 393939 to receive these daily text messages for free. We know that young people have been significantly impacted by the loss of socialization, routine, and extracurricular activities during the pandemic, but reaching out for, and receiving support can be challenging.

MoreGoodDays aims to eliminate barriers by providing automated messages of encouragement to help young people shift their perspective and provide something positive to build on as they manage their mental health and wellness.

MoreGoodDays was conceived following the success of Text4Hope, launched in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic to support Albertans’ mental health using Cognitive Behavioural Therapy principles. Created and developed by Dr. Vincent Agyapong–Psychiatrist Lead, Edmonton Zone, Alberta Health Services–the program’s findings demonstrated a significant improvement in self-reported rates of mental health distress.

Kickstand worked alongside Dr. Agyapong to develop an adaptation of the supportive texting service tailored especially for young people, ensuring that the content and tone of the daily messages was relatable, engaging and youth-friendly. Twenty-six young Albertans reviewed and edited each message to make sure their peers connect to the messages, and feel encouraged and empowered by them. Evidence-based and research-supported, the approach gives subscribers a tool to help self-regulate, leading to greater emotional control and anxiety, stress and depression reductions of as much as 25 per cent.

The program is funded by donations from Alberta Blue Cross®’s community foundation. MoreGoodDays is the first youth-led service launched by Kickstand. Learn more at: https://mykickstand.ca/ongoing-support#moregooddays

Quotes

"I think more often than not, we underestimate the impact of services specifically curated for what we need. When certain demographics aren't represented, it is difficult for the service to actually connect with the people it is meant for. When I learned about MoreGoodDays I realized how unique and accommodating the approach was. A lot of young people will be able to relate more and feel welcomed into the safe space that MoreGoodDays is trying to create." –Trinity Ramos, 17, Kickstand Youth Advisory Council

"After over a year, the pandemic is still here and it’s still affecting all of us. Young people have been hit especially hard in many ways. Socialization and school are formative for young people and the pandemic drastically changed both. When feeling low, a simple text can have big impacts on helping young people shift their perspective and boost their mental health. Initiatives like this are critical because they meet our young people where they are."—Brian Geislinger, Vice-President, Corporate Relations, Alberta Blue Cross®

"Equipping young people with basic mental health knowledge or literacy is so important in improving mental well-being and reducing the stigma surrounding it," says Pam Liversidge, Executive Director of Kickstand. "Initiatives like MoreGoodDays take small steps to providing young people the tools they need to care for their mental health and well-being. During a time when connection and encouragement can be hard to come by, the simple daily messages can make a big difference."—Pam Liversidge, Executive Director of Kickstand.

"From the early days of the pandemic, organizations across the community have generously enabled unique solutions to the consequences of social isolation. We’re incredibly grateful to Alberta Blue Cross® for partnering with us and Kickstand to deliver accessible and affordable mental health support to young people in Alberta who are struggling."—Deborah McKinnon, Mental Health Foundation, President & CEO


Kickstand | @mykickstandca

Kickstand is the new name for the Alberta Integrated Youth Services Initiative. Kickstand’s vision is to transform the way that young people (aged 12 to 25) in Alberta access health and social services. Kickstand approaches this work by collaborating and building community with young people, families, caregivers, Indigneous partners, donors, and government to create physical integrated youth service centers and a virtual clinic. These one-stop-shops, providing young people and their families just one door to walk through, will offer mental health services, primary care, substance use services, peer support and various social services.

Alberta Blue Cross® | @albertabluecross

As an Alberta-based, not-for-profit organization, Alberta Blue Cross® covers more than 1.8 million Albertans and has a unique focus on supporting the health and wellness of Albertans. Alberta Blue Cross® is ranked as one of Alberta’s Top 10 Most Loved Brands, as well as one of Alberta's Top 25 Most Respected Organizations.

Mental Health Foundation | @MentalHealthAB

The Mental Health Foundation raises funds and mobilizes resources to improve outcomes within Alberta’s addiction and mental health care system. Our vision is to ensure an accessible, easy-to-navigate and fully integrated addiction and mental health care system in Alberta.

For more information please contact

Sam Fitzner, Mental Health Foundation

780-884-9701

sam@mentalhealthfoundation.ca