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Read real stories about employee mental health and how using Starling Minds makes an impact.

Starling Minds Delivers Mental Health Support to Remote Communities

Starling Minds Case Study — NWT Teachers' Associaltion

  • About NWTTA

    The Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) is a professional organization composed of approximately 800 teachers from three distinct bargaining units who work within the Northwest Territories’ publicly funded school system. As the sole bargaining agent for all teachers in the NWT, the organization interprets collective agreements to protect its members. Additionally, the NWTTA works to further support NWT teachers by offering professional development services, health and wellness resources, and curriculum support.

  • The Challenge
  • The Solution
  • The Impact

Stigma, Access & Increasing Stress Levels

In recent years, the NWTTA surveyed its members to better understand workload and wellness issues. Fraser Oliver, President of the NWTTA shares that “results were unanimous in that teachers were working well above a 40-hour work week and stress levels were extremely high.” He adds, “we knew we needed to find an innovative stress management and mental health program that could reach teachers wherever they are.”

The NWTTA President Fraser Oliver also expressed concerns about stigma. Recognizing that even though mental illness stigma has decreased in recent years, Oliver expressed that “Overall, many teachers still view mental illness and the inability to cope with stress as weakness.” Oliver continues, “We knew that teacher privacy and confidentiality would be imperative in addressing their mental health.”

Coupling together the issues of stigma, lack of access to mental health professionals, and growing stress-levels, the NWTTA and government sponsors made it a priority to help teachers better manage worrisome stress levels.

Starling Minds for Mental Health & Stress Management

In the fall of 2016, Starling Minds rolled out for teachers across the Northwest Territories. Project sponsors identified that the technology met all of their requirements and more. Stakeholders were excited at the opportunity to be of the first in human history to offer far-reaching and evidence-based mental health technology.

The NWTTA President Fraser Olvier shares, “In a time when mental health and stress concerns are not viewed by the public as positive, this program allows people to work on their mental health in private and at their own pace from wherever they are without their colleagues or the public knowing.” He continues, “For the first time in history, Starling gives immediate support to our members and their families who cannot wait weeks or months to get professional help from outside of their communities.”

Improved Work & Personal Lives

The NWTTA receives reports that share aggregate mental health results on NWTTA members. After one year with Starling Minds, the NWTTA learned that:

  • Member depression symptoms reduced by 23%
  • Member anxiety symptoms reduced by 6%
  • Member worry symptoms reduced by 7.4%


Today, 1 in 4 NWTTA teachers user Starling Minds to build resilience to increasing stressors both at work and at home. Given the success of the program and how much member mental health has improved, the government and the NWTTA continue to allocate budget towards Starling Minds. Fraser Oliver, President of the NWTTA exclaims,“Starling Minds goes above and beyond to provide us with friendly and personalized support. The team always accommodates our members’ needs so that they feel cared for. This personalized service has made Starling a big success for our organization and is why we continue to partner with them.”

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