When the Canadian Career Development Foundation conducted an impact analysis of ChatterHigh in 2018, they found that the digital, gamified platform not only increased student awareness of career and post-secondary options but also made students more hopeful, motivated, and engaged in regards to their futures. In early 2020, ChatterHigh began adapting its award-winning, research-proven career quiz to engage students in mental health. As schools began to close in response to COVID-19, ChatterHigh released its new “Mindful Modules” for free across the country, to help students actively explore information and resources to support their mental health.
Now, in addition to their daily ChatterHigh career quizzing, students from across Canada are offered questions about mental health and are incentivized to explore real-world websites like the Canadian Mental Health Association, Jack.org, Here to Help, and Kids Help Phone to find the answers. They build knowledge about topics like mindfulness, stress and anxiety, body image, mental health disorders, stigma, substance use, and more. They discover the resources, tools, and services available to them in their province and nationwide.
Since April 2020, ChatterHigh’s Mental Health and Wellness modules have been used by students and teachers in 29 districts in BC (and 114 across Canada). Districts are even creating their own wellness modules in ChatterHigh to raise awareness in their students about resources in their community.
This session will be useful for any educator or counselor working with middle or high school students in any setting (online, face-to-face, blended). In addition to sharing research findings and testimonials from students and teachers, we will focus on how to create student engagement in an online environment, and how to build student awareness and hope when it comes to mental health.
Deborah Deacon obtained her Master’s in History from the University of Victoria in 2018, where she wrote about the historical relationships between gender, sexuality, mental health, and suicide. Now the Content Manager at ChatterHigh, she works to engage young people in topics like post-secondary & career exploration, financial literacy, and mental health in fun and accessible ways. Since early 2020, Deborah and her team have been creating “Mindful Modules” to build awareness about available mental health resources, information, and support for students across Canada and the United States.