Canadian Developed Adolescent Mental Health Resources Making an Impact in USA

HALIFAX, NS (April 26, 2018) –

A Washington State family has turned their grief into advocating for change in the way students learn about mental health.  In 2010, Deborah and Will Binion lost their teenage son to suicide.  Grief stricken by a tragedy they feel could have been avoided had the right supports been in place, they have created the Jordan Binion Project ( in his memory. Its mission is to bring awareness to mental health through education.

A key component of their work is having mental health literacy promoted and taught in all schools.  Recognizing they could not take on a project this ambitious on their own, they went searching for resources and discovered TeenMentalHealth.Org’s Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide, a Halifax, Nova Scotia created, best available evidence-based classroom resource aimed at improving mental health literacy across Canada and beyond.  Led by Dr. Stan Kutcher, TeenMentalHealth.Org developed the mental health literacy curriculum to foster and enhance mental health literacy of grades 8, 9 and 10 students.  When embedded into existing school curriculums, it enables better understanding of mental health problems and mental illnesses, helps decrease stigma surrounding mental illnesses, aids in the understanding of best practices for support and treatment, and encourages the development of positive mental health strategies. It also gives teachers the necessary literacy to foster positive mental health initiatives in schools, help create safe and supportive environments for their students, and aid in mental health promotion and prevention, ultimately transitioning the school setting to be part of a comprehensive pathway to mental health care access and support for youth.

The Binions have spoken to over 75,000 students about mental health awareness.  They have also taken TeenMentalHealth.Org’s Curriculum and have seen it successfully implemented in 99 school boards in Washington State and are motivated to have it taught in every school in the United States.  Dr. Kutcher is pleased to see this program generating positive results in Washington State, with 84% of students who have taken the class showing improvements in mental health knowledge.   These echo the same positive results from the research that went into creating the resource.

It’s a real privilege to be working with the Jordan Binion Foundation, they have shown courage and innovation to ensure that our Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide is reaching those who need it most,” says Dr. Kutcher.  “All kids deserve to have this best available evidence- based resource offered to them.   There should be no barrier for schools to make this available in Canada, the US and beyond, it’s free and readily available online through our website”.

Earlier this week, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt aired a special two-piece segment on The Jordan Binion Project that highlighted its use of TeenMentalHealth.Org’s Mental Health & High School Curriculum Guide.  Within the first 12 hours the news segment had over 50,000 online views and The Foundation has been flooded with inquiries about how to have the Guide taught in Schools across the USA.  Dr. Kutcher is ready to help, “We know that the need is out there, we hear from educators all the time that more resources are needed.  We are so happy to see our work being successfully implemented in Washington State and getting this type of coverage on NBC news is a huge awareness boost about this one-of- a- kind program.  We’re looking forward to growing our partnerships and supporting more schools in improving mental health outcomes for youth”.

For more information on the curriculum resource, visit

For more information on the Jordan Binion Project,

To View NBC Story visit:


Dr. Kutcher holds the position of the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, a partnership between Sun Life Financial, Dalhousie University and the IWK Health Centre and is the former Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center at Dalhousie University.


Media contacts:
Kate Elliot, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
[email protected]
(902) 440-7844

Mallory Comeau, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
[email protected]
(902) 470-6582