If you're feeling lonely, scared, or just plain bored, Alberta Health Services might be your new best friend. On Monday, March 23, Alberta Health Services announced that they have launched a new text service called Text4Hope that will send messages of support and positive thinking to its subscribers. The Alberta text service will also be providing you with daily health tips to help you maintain mental wellbeing. 

All you have to do is text "COVID 19 HOPE" to the phone number 393939, and the daily messages of encouragement will start flowing in. 

Now that spring has finally arrived, it can be natural to feel like you're missing out on the nice weather and all the fun activities that go along with it. 

Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health, understands the predicament that many of us are facing while cooped up in our homes. 

"While I do encourage people to go for walks and enjoy being outside, it is extremely important to maintain distance," she wrote in a recent update about Alberta's new text initiative

"Whether it’s the Glenora stairs or heading up Nose Hill," she wrote, we need to be careful about maintaining a distance of least two meters and avoid touching things like rails, garbage cans and all other potential sources of transmission. 

 

Not being able to engage in our favourite activities can bum us out, but at least Alberta is trying its best to help us cope with any negative emotions we may be feeling. 

Dr. Hinshaw also mentioned that "connection is so vitally important to our mental and emotional wellbeing."

This is why we're going to have to find creative solutions to maintain that connection and keep the positive vives going amid the challenging times. 

According to Dr. Hinshaw, this "free program is an additional resource to help us find encouragement and strength as we navigate the day-to-day challenges of a new normal."

The text service was developed by Alberta Health Services, who received generous support from the Mental Health Foundation, the University Hospital Foundation, the Calgary Health Trust, the Alberta Children’s Hospital Foundation, and the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation. 

In addition to messages offering hope and encouragement, the texts are also going to be serving up useful tips about healthy living and action that can help you get through the long, boring days. 

After a while, there's only so much Netflix you can watch, so it can be quite refreshing to undertake something healthy to pass your time. To give you a break from all the video conferences and work-from-home assignments. 

If you just want to see what the messages are all about, you might as well subscribe. You can stop at any time. 

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