Coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic: Health system and community response to a text message (Text4Hope) program supporting mental health in Alberta
In an effort to support the mental health of Albertans during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, Alberta Health Services launched a supportive text message (Text4Mood) program on March 23, 2020. The program was simultaneously approved for funding by the 6 regional health foundations and launched within 1 week of conception. Residents of Alberta can subscribe to the program by texting “COVID19HOPE” to a sort code number. Each subscriber receives free daily supportive text messages, for 3 months, crafted by a team of clinical psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health therapist, and mental health service users. Within 1 week of the launch of Text4Hope, 32 805 subscribers had signed up to the program, and there have been expressions of interests from other jurisdictions to implement a similar program to support the mental health of those in quarantine, isolation, or lockdown.