Text4Amal: Text4Hope in Arabic

Key Initiatives

The Mental Health Foundation is proud to collaborate with the Canadian Arab Institute and the RBC Foundation to launch Text4Amal, a free supportive texting program for the Arabic community in Canada.

Text4Amal is an expansion of a research-proven Albertan-based mental health intervention—Text4Hope—developed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Amal means hope in Arabic.

Supportive messaging uses daily prompts sent to a user’s phone to help them identify and adjust negative thoughts through the use of evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT*) tools. This innovative service is for Arab communities across Canada, in their native language, reviewed by a focus group to ensure cultural sensitivity and relevance. 

CBT works to help disrupt negative patterns of thinking, shifting thoughts to more constructive, healthy ones. Research from Text4Hope saw overall reported rates of mental health distress drop by 22.7 per cent for anxiety, 10.4 per cent for depression and 5.7 per cent for stress at the three-month mark, even for people who initially reported moderate to severe symptoms.

With the help of the Canadian Arab Institute’s network, Text4Amal can reach a wider audience of users who are looking to navigate their anxiety about life during or after the COVID-19 crisis. This bilingual program increases awareness about mental health struggles, and improves access to support in racialized groups. The aim of this project is to reach people who are isolated or in remote areas that may not have easy and timely access to mental health support systems.

Although the pandemic is easing across the country, the psychological effects are anticipated to increase in the aftermath. Crafted by mental health experts, the daily Text4Amal messages help people manage their mental health and look for avenues of improvement. Text4Amal does not replace the help of licensed psychologists and therapists.

Canadian Arab Institute | @CdnArabInst

​The Canadian Arab Institute is a national nonpartisan organization that focuses on issues and interests of the Canadian Arab community through research, policy, programming and community engagement. CAI celebrates and encourages Arab Canadians’ participation in all social, political, cultural and economic aspects of Canadian society.

Text4Amal works on any cell phone and is free of charge, excluding any applicable plan rates.

Our commitment to youth mental well-being is focused on prevention and early intervention programs that help provide young people timely access to knowledge, supports and care, when and where they need it. Our support of services such as Text4Amal is an important part of our strategy to help reduce the barriers to accessing mental well-being supports.

Mark Beckles

Vice President, Social Impact and Innovation, RBC