SAS is a home that empowers young adults to critically question social norms and step above the stigmas that prevent them from having good mental health. At SAS, empowerment is the antidote to stigma.
Our mission is to instil community, leadership, and purpose in 250,000 young adults by 2027 so they can live mentally healthier lives.
The Issue We Are Working to Address
Canada is experiencing a mental health crisis among youth.
- Youth have seen the greatest declines in their mental health since the pandemic (Statistics Canada).
- 1 in 4 young adults in Canada always or often feel lonely.
- 1.2 million children and youth in Canada are affected by mental illness. Less than 20% of those children and youth will receive appropriate treatment.
These statistics ultimately remain intact because of the stigma that is attached to mental health. Unfortunately, eradicating such stigmas in today’s world requires changing entire systems and having every single person accept, respect, and ensure equitable treatment and support for everyone, which is impossible to do at the snap of our fingers. That is why we want to focus on reducing stigmas on the individual and community levels first.
The antidote to stigma on the individual level is empowerment. To combat and reduce the previously mentioned stats, our goal is to empower youth through community, leadership, and advocacy and enable them to have a purpose-driven impact.
How We Are Creating Change
Through our work, we enable individuals to take their power back by empowering them to have a purpose-driven impact.
Our programs and events are not an alternative to therapy. However, with the lack of resources publicly available and the significant costs of mental healthcare, we focus on a community approach to care.
Together, we help support each other as we grow and learn.
Since we were founded in 2017, Step Above Stigma is proud to have impacted the lives of over 125,000+ youths and young adults through our various initiatives.
Stay tuned for the Step Above Stigma impact report coming in 2024.
- Courage: When it comes down to it, there’s one thing that can empower someone more than anything else: the ability to act in the face of fear. We aspire to empower and elevate youth and young adults to have the courage to be who they are, even when the world tells them that they are not enough.
- Compassion: We believe in the power of compassion. It’s not just about helping others; it’s also about understanding that we’re all connected—that we all have similar needs and desires and that we can empathize with each other because we’ve been through similar things ourselves. Helping and supporting each other has a ripple effect, and we value making a more compassionate world for all, one step at a time.
- Creativity: Creativity is a fundamental attribute that has the power to change the face of mental health. It’s not just about being able to come up with a new idea—it’s also about being able to execute that idea and make it happen. At Step Above Stigma, we utilize creativity throughout every touch point, whether it be coming up with a new mental health solution or receiving feedback on how we can do better.
- Commitment: We’re committed to making an impact on our generation’s mental health. We believe that everyone deserves to love themselves, even when they make mistakes or simply feel like they don’t belong. We want youth and young adults to recognize that they matter and are valued in this world so they can thrive.
- Community: There are so many things to celebrate about being different, but there’s something even more powerful about being able to unite around commonalities. We want to create a space where people from all walks of life can come together and celebrate what makes them unique, where they feel welcomed and understood, and where everyone feels like they belong.