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Ways to Wellness Toolkit

Page history last edited by Carol Breitkreutz 3 years, 5 months ago




Helping communities make the healthy choice the easy choice.  



Community/Project Name:        


Ways to Wellness Toolkit



1. Target population::

Students, Staff and Parents

2. Locations served:  :  

Red Deer

3. Name of leader and organization

Jackie Tomalty, School Health Facilitator Alberta Health Services 

4. Grants utilized:




Briefly describe the initiative:

The Ways to Wellness toolkit is intended for use by mental health staff, school administrators, and health practitioners. The toolkit can support the promotion of mental health in initiatives such as the Comprehensive School Health strategy, chronic disease prevention, and other targeted settings.


In Red Deer Schools we have used the toolkit in two different ways.  One was in a classroom setting for Grade 5 boys.  Going through each of the ways with the students to show how they can increase positive mental health by practicing the Ways to Wellness.  Through guided activities, they experienced firsthand how easy it is to change their state. 

    • Be Kind- The students were encouraged to write a post it note to someone saying something they appreciated about them and hand it out within 24 hours. 
    • Practice Gratitude- The students formed a circle and were asked to stand up and say something that they were grateful for. The answers were all very genuine and positive outlooks for life.  Ex. I’m thankful for the freedom to practice my religion. 
    • Eat Healthy Foods- We combined this activity with a mindfulness activity with a carrot.  Taking time to experience the smell, taste and feel of healthy foods in their bodies.                                                   
    • Get Active- The students participated in a mini 12 days of Fitness exercise.  They were able to try new physical activities while stretching and getting their heart rates up.
    • Be Yourself- Students were asked to write something that they were good at and we had a Wellness Poster that we stuck them on.                                              
    • Get Your Groove On- Students danced to a popular song and everyone was encouraged to participate or at least smile.                                                       
    • Laugh- Students watched a 3 minute video clip of a compilation of America’s Funniest Home Videos.  They laughed and wanted more.

A review of the 7 Ways to Wellness was reinforced throughout and a poster was given to each student as a reminder of easy ways to positive mental health.


The second way the Toolkit was used in Red Deer was at Parent/Student information days.  It was called the Ways to Wellness Room.  We were designated a space to set up resources that complimented the Ways to Wellness Poster.  Students were encouraged to listen to the messages with their parents. 

    • The first station was the Poster Ways to Wellness, explaining the easy was to promote mental health. 
    • The second station was Be Kind and Gratitude combined with a Thank you card. Students were asked who they were thankful for in their lives.They were asked to put that person's name on the card and give it to them within 24 hours. 
    • The next station families were given a cook book and a nutrition guide and encouraged to be aware of the link between mood and food. 
    • The next station was getting active with a frisbee provided by Servus Credit Union and the messages of playing outside and the benefits of fresh air were discussed. 
    • The next station was laughing and playing games together.  Each family was given a deck of cards with positive mental health messages on them provided by Mental Health (while supplies lasted).  They were also given a mood magnet called Know How You Feel and Chalk Up the Mental Health Benefits.
    • Another station was Tobacco Reduction and the resource from Alberta Quits with The Academy trivia game along with the pamphlet for parents to Talk about Tobacco with their children before the age of 10.


 What were the main objectives of the program:


Please list the key successes:

Once the teachers and staff know how easy the messaging is, they request the resources and want to use them yearly in the classroom and in their school's culture.  Ex. One school has Get your groove on Fridays where all students come into the hallways to dance for one song before going back to their classrooms.




Who were the partners involved?


Other resources utilized (websites, pamphlets, projects)?

  • Ways to Wellness (YouTube video) - Learn more about the simple steps that can be taken.


  • The following posters are available for downloading:
    • All tips - Be kind, practice gratitude, eat healthy foods, get active, be yourself, get your groove on, and laugh.
    • Be kind - Showing kindness can help you and others feel good.
    • Practice gratitude - Being grateful can help you develop a positive outlook on life.
    • Eat healthy foods - What you eat can affect how you feel. Eat healthy to feel healthy.
    • Get active - Physical activity can improve your mood.
    • Be yourself - Appreciating yourself can have a positive impact on your mental health.
    • Get your groove on - Music soothes the soul.
    • Laugh - Laughter is medicine for the mind and helps to reduce stress and tension. 


How long did it take to plan and implement the initiative?

The time is in gathering the resources.  Once they were ordered and organized there is little time involved..


If needed, how did you market your initiative?




 What challenges were faced while developing and implementing this initiative?

Building capacity within the school.  I informed the school that I would only participate if there was a teacher in the room with me that could learn and share the messages with me.


How were the challenges overcome?

Relationships built with all schools involved and capacity built with the identified teachers to pass on the Ways to Wellness messaging.  Messages adopted into School Culture.




 List the outcomes achieved:


 How did you evaluate the initiatives success?

Follow up conversations with schools were positive.  No formal evaluation was sent out.


Were any follow up actions planned post-initiative? 

In Red Deer Catholic, Our Leadership Day’s Theme is based on the Ways to Wellness Toolkit.  Leaders from each school will be encouraged to take back to their schools and teach others how to increase positive mental health.



Please briefly provide additional information that should be considered when planning such an initiative including marketing materials, resources, and pictures.




1. Community location

Red Deer

2. Contact name

Jackie Tomalty

3. Organization: 

School Health Facilitator Alberta Health Services

4. Email:




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2. Locations served:  Stettler Elementary School, Wm E Hay Secondary Campus, Stettler Outreach School, Erskine School, Donalda School, Big Valley School, Byemoor School, Gus Wetter, Botha School, Brownfield School

3. Name of leader and organization:  Barb Gano & Brenda MacDonald, Clearview Public Schools

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