Alberta's top doctor says connection is vital to mental health and well being, especially at times like this.

Dr. Deena Hinshaw gave her daily update on the status of COVID-19 in the province on Monday. She encouraged anyone who needs support during these uncertain times to reach out.

"Talk to a family member, friend, or someone they can be honest with to talk through concerns," says Hinshaw.

As a part of the message, Alberta Health Services launched a text-based program to help provide encouragement and hope to Albertans.

Text 4 Hope aims to ease feelings of stress or anxiety during these recent challenges associated with COVID-19.

"Albertans can text COVID19Hope to 393939 to subscribe," says Hinshaw. "In return, they'll receive daily text messages on healthy thinking or actions to help manage their mood," says Hinshaw.

The AHS program is free, thanks to the support of the Mental Health Foundation, the University Hospital Foundation, the Calgary Health Trust, the Alberta Children's Hospital Foundation, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation.

Additionally, anyone struggling with their mental health can contact the Mental Health Help Line at 1-877-303-2642 or Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.

The province is also promoting the #AlbertaCares hashtag in hopes of encouraging Albertans to tell the acts of kindness they have experienced or witnessed in their own communities.


Send your news tips, story ideas and comments to