Thrival Kits

Thrival Kits™ is a project we created with the Canadian Mental Health Association (Manitoba-Winnipeg) to promote mental wellbeing for children. The Thrival Kits™ project is delivered by teachers in school classrooms and shows children how to develop positive coping strategies that help them understand what makes them special and unique, and helps them develop tools to deal with life events and emotions.

Thrival Kits™ are shoebox-sized kits that students assemble in the classroom and then fill with small, meaningful items as they complete classroom challenges and activities throughout the school year. Activities are focused on mental health promotion: Daily practices that build mental health awareness and promote our mental wellness.

Thrival KitsTM are about mental health promotion. Likely, you’ve heard of upstream investments in healthcare—the idea of looking for the root causes of illness and preventing these illnesses through early interventions. Well, mental health promotion is even more “upstream” than that.

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Mental health promotion is not about “preventing” mental illness, though that is certainly a key goal.

More so, mental health promotion is about going beyond illness prevention. Its goal is to foster safe and supportive environments that encourage mental health and wellness. Yes, it is about individual behaviour—showing youth a variety of positive coping strategies for handling stress in their lives. But, it is also about the environment and the classroom culture. It is about creating a stigma-free world. It is about fostering empathy and empowering youth to take care of one another and look out for one another.

The success of Thrival Kits™ is built on the evidence-based understanding that classroom teachers are best positioned to lead daily practices of mental health promotion in school-settings. While mental health experts bring important skills and knowledge to schools, it is classroom teachers who best establish the positive and supportive classroom-cultures required for healthy children’s outcomes.

Thrival Kits™…because we want children to do much more than merely survive their childhoods – we want them to thrive!

For more information, or if your school is interested in offering the Thrival Kits™ project, send us a message thrival@manitobaadvocate.ca.