An evidence-based anti-stigma initiative created by the Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC).

We inspire youth ages 12-18 to Be Brave, Reach Out and Speak Up about mental health. Launched across Canada, HEADSTRONG is teaching students how to recognize and reduce stigma associated with mental illness, and become leaders in their schools.


Start a HEADSTRONG club & join our leaders networkApply for a Youth Leadership Initiative Grant

News updates

Happy holidays!

From our friends at All Saints Catholic Secondary

Thank you for attending the HEADSTRONG summit for newcomer youth!

Check back soon for future summit dates.


HEADSTRONG teaches students how to reduce stigma and become mental health champions in their schools.

How it works: A two-part model for positive change

Attend a summit


The Summit – A HEADSTRONG summit brings together small groups of students from various schools for an exciting day of learning. They will:

  • hear stories of hope and recovery from speakers with lived experience of mental illness
  • participate in stigma-busting activities
  • design action plans to use when they return to school

A Summit Team supports the event, striving to ensure summit participants have a great experience and the goals of the summit are reached.

Start a club


Student summit attendees start an in-school HEADSTRONG club with other interested students and the support of a staff member. Students use their own creativity and use our toolkits to hold awareness and education activities for the whole school.

These activities usually take place once or twice a month and can be simple as simple as a poster display, or more involved like a resource fair or student assembly.


If you attended one of our summits, get involved by joining a network of young people dedicated to making change.

Give us your feedback


Answer our brief survey | Répondre à un bref sondage

Complete the survey →

Répondre au sondage →


Answer our brief survey | Répondre à un bref sondage

Complete the survey →

Répondre au sondage →


Only 17% of children diagnosed with a mental health problem or illness will get treatment.
Seven million Canadians will experience a mental health problem or illness this year. 70% say first symptoms occurred as teenagers.
40% of parents would not tell anyone, including their doctor, if their child had a mental health problem or illness.

Stigma is keeping many people from seeking the help they need when they need it most.

By empowering youth leaders to challenge stigma, we can help break this cycle.

Many say that living with stigma is more difficult than the illness itself.

Young people feel the impacts of stigma more than any other group in Canada.

The stigma surrounding mental health problems and illnesses keeps people from seeking help when they need it most.


MHCC HEADSTRONG School-Based Activities.
Create and sustain school-based HEADSTRONG committees after a regional summit.
Planning a Youth Anti-Stigma Summit.
Design, coordinate and implement a regional summit.
Training your Speakers.
Well trained speakers are central to all successful headstrong events.
Sharing Your Personal Story.
This toolkit will help equip you with the skills and knowledge to share your personal story of hope and recovery from mental illness.
Headstrong Speakers.

Apply for a grant


Each school who has attended a HEADSTRONG summit and has a student group working on anti-stigma and mental health awareness through the school year can apply for a $250.00 grant to support their activities and events.


In partnership with


Email us for more information about participating in or hosting a HEADSTRONG summit.