Students in the region will be getting a boost in their mental health through a donation from ConocoPhillips Canada, Cenovus Energy Inc., Petro China Canada and the Canadian Red Cross.
Together they have teamed up to give 13.5K students in 34 schools access to the HeartMath for Healthy Schools Program.
Alberta Health Services (AHS) recommended that the program be utilized in the community after the 2016 wildfire to help students deal with any trauma and improve their mental health. It is an app with heart monitoring technology that also teaches breathing exercises to reduce anxiety.
The Northern Lights Health Foundation (NLHF) coordinated the program between AHS, the schools and donors.
“Working together with AHS, Northland School Division, Fort McMurray Public School District and Fort McMurray Catholic School District on a common goal, the health and well-being of our community, is exactly what was required for this initiative,” said Cindy Amerongen, executive direction of the NLHF.
The technology was heavily used in the community around May 2017, the one-year anniversary of the wildfire and evacuation, when students from Westview Public School taught local fire fighters how to use the app.