If you are in distress, you can text WELLNESS to 741741 at any time. If it is an emergency, call 9-1-1 or go to your local emergency department.



Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) is the help provided to a person developing a mental health problem, experiencing a mental health crisis, or a worsening of their mental health. More than 500,000 Canadians have been trained since 2007.

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HEADSTRONG is a youth leadership initiative developed to champion mental wellness. Since 2014, it has given Canada’s youth the tools, confidence, and inspiration to become leaders for mental health and wellness in their schools and communities.


HEADSTRONG is evidence based, easy to implement, and well-supported. It’s a perfect choice for schools and communities seeking an effective way to support mental wellness and foster leadership.

With HEADSTRONG, youth learn to

  • recognize when and who to ask for help
  • understand what stigma is and how to challenge it
  • teach others about mental wellness
  • know that recovery from a mental health problem or illness is expected
  • appreciate that mental health is health.

HEADSTRONG’s two-part model:

  1. The HEADSTRONG Summit. Uses experiential learning with groups of youth from various schools or youth organizations to challenge stereotypical thinking about mental health and inspire youth leadership through activities, real-life recovery stories, discussions, and action planning
  2. Post-summit action. Encourages HEADSTRONG Summit participants to use what they learned by implementing mental health awareness action plans in their own schools and communities

HEADSTRONG Summit options

  1. Virtual summit. A live, interactive event delivered online directly to classrooms in three 90-minute sessions over one week. Designed to be engaging and fast-paced, a virtual summit shares key concepts through lived-experience stories, discussions and activities. It’s a great option if your community is new to HEADSTRONG, if it covers a large geographic area where in-person gatherings are a challenge, or if other constraints make a virtual event more convenient.
    • Watch our virtual summit overview!
  2. In-person summit. A one-day conference-style event that brings youth from regional schools or organizations to one location. It’s planned by a community team with HEADSTRONG support to ensure a structured, interactive, and unique experience. Youth get the opportunity to connect and work with other young leaders, learn from inspiring local speakers with lived experience of a mental health problem or illness, and collaborate with community organizations providing supports and services in their area.

Thinking of bringing HEADSTRONG to your community?

Complete our Expression of Interest form!

Questions? Please contact us at headstrong@mentalhealthcommission.ca.

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