A new program at Calgary’s TELUS Spark hopes to make talking about mental health to children easier by adding science and fun exhibits. The Science of Mental Health workshop is geared toward youths, teachers and professionals to explore what is happening in their brains and bodies when dealing with stress.
“We have people being aware of how they’re reacting, and the link between the stimulus they’re feeling in their minds, hearts and bodies, so that they’re able to bring that back under control with breathing techniques and awareness,” said Dr. Elka Walsh, Telus Spark’s chief education and learning officer, on Wednesday. She said teaching resiliency techniques to manage stress helps kids not to fear putting up their hands in class or stumbling during hockey practice.
Walsh estimates that by the end of the year, about 500 young people will have engaged in the workshops. Throughout her 20 years in education, Walsh has seen the stresses mount for both youth and adults, and said TELUS Spark wanted to contribute to something bigger. “If we can come together as Calgarians, we can have an incredibly mentally healthy, destigmatized community that really enables each other to be our very best and our authentic selves,” she said.