The AMA Committee on Student Affairs Sponsorship Program provides support for student-run initiatives targeted at career advancement of medical students. The AMA allocates a budget annually to support this sponsorship, and all Alberta-based medical students are eligible to apply. In 2022, 15 student-run initiatives were awarded funding from the sponsorship program; the University of Alberta’s Mental Health Monologues was one recipient.

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Laurier LeClair speaks to medical students at Kaffa Roaster and Studio in Edmonton during Mental Health Monologues.

An annual marquee event, Mental Health Monologues, was hosted this year at Kaffa Roaster and Studio with approximately 50 medical students in attendance. This event provided all participants with an opportunity to share their own personal experiences pertaining to mental health (i.e., experience with mental illness, managing stress, promoting wellness, etc.).

There were roughly 10 students who chose to share their unique and inspiring stories. In addition, the U Alberta School of Medicine Office of Advocacy and Wellbeing had staff in attendance to support student participants. We feel that this opportunity to connect and share reduces stigma surrounding mental health and promotes a trusting and open environment.

Thanks to the generous funding provided by the Alberta Medical Association, we were able to rent a gorgeous space that created an inviting atmosphere for sharing. We were also able to provide attendees with a host of food and refreshments with which to enjoy the evening that spanned the better part of three hours and turned out to be a memorable night for all involved.

Banner image credit: Gerd Altmann,