RBC Foundation funds national rollout of new supportive texting service for the Arabic community.
The Mental Health Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Canadian Arab Institute and the RBC Foundation to launch Text4Amal, a free supportive texting program for the Arabic community in Canada. Amal means hope in Arabic.
Text4Amal is an expansion of a research-proven Albertan-based mental health intervention–Text4Hope–developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supportive messaging uses daily prompts sent to a user’s phone to help them identify and adjust negative thoughts through the use of evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) tools.
Text4Amal provides this innovative service to Arab communities across Canada in their native language, reviewed by a focus group to ensure cultural sensitivity and relevance. Amal means hope in Arabic.
With the help of the Canadian Arab Institute’s network, Text4Amal can reach a wider audience of users who are looking to navigate their thoughts of anxiety about life during or after the COVID-19 crisis. By reaching a new subset of the Canadian community through a bilingual program, Text4Amal increases the awareness about mental health struggles, and subsequently, access to support in racialized groups in Canada.
Arabic community members in Canada can subscribe for three months of daily messages by texting “Amal” to +1855947HOPE. Text4Amal works on any cell phone and is free of charge, excluding any applicable plan rates.
“Our commitment to youth mental well-being is focused on prevention and early intervention programs that help provide young people timely access to knowledge, supports and care, when and where they need it. Our support of services such as Text4Amal is an important part of our strategy to help reduce the barriers to accessing mental well-being supports.”
– Mark Beckles, Vice President, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC
The aim of this project is to reach people who are isolated or in remote areas that may not have easy and timely access to mental health support systems.
The pandemic is easing across the country, but the psychological effects are anticipated to increase in the aftermath. Crafted by mental health experts such as therapists, daily Text4Amal text messages assist people as they navigate their mental health and look for avenues of improvement as they also navigate our new normal.
CBT works to help disrupt negative patterns of thinking, shifting thoughts to more constructive, healthy ones. Research from Text4Hope saw overall reported rates of mental health distress drop by 22.7 per cent for anxiety, 10.4 per cent for depression and 5.7 per cent for stress at the three-month mark, even for people who initially reported moderate to severe symptoms.
Text4Amal does not replace the help of licensed psychologists and therapists.
Canadian Arab Institute | @CdnArabInst
The Canadian Arab Institute is a national nonpartisan organization that focuses on issues and interests of the Canadian Arab community through research, policy, programming and community engagement. CAI celebrates and encourages Arab Canadians’ participation in all social, political, cultural and economic aspects of Canadian society.
Mental Health Foundation|@MentalHealthAB
The Mental Health Foundation raises funds and mobilizes resources to improve outcomes within Alberta’s addiction and mental health care system. Our vision is to ensure an accessible, easy-to-navigate and fully integrated addiction and mental health care system in Alberta.