A Saskatchewan non-profit t-shirt company launched its mental health initiative in Swift Current last month.  

Better Together originated in the Battlefords in 2019 when a series of suicides among youth and seniors devastated the community.  

Deb McNabb paired with a Grade 11 student Alyssa Woodrow to create t-shirts with prints of popular food pairings, encouraging the wearers to connect with their matches. 

A long-time friend of McNabb, Abbie Houston, has taken it upon herself to run the initiative for the southwest along with Andrea Miller, based right in Swift Current.  

better together swift current crew.jpeg Deb McNabb, Andrea Miller, and Abbie Houston

“Last week I was working out of town, and I came back and on my desk was an envelope with a zip lock bag of money," Houston said. “It was written on there: An anonymous donation for Better Together.” 

The donation totalled $640 to be used to kickstart the initiative in the area. 

McNabb, Houston, and Miller have been excitedly brainstorming what they’re going to do with the donation, but nothing is set in stone yet.  

The three women toured around town on September 9 to spread the word and hand out t-shirts to a host of local businesses and community leaders. 

better together newcomer welcome centre.jpeg Deb McNabb visiting the Southwest Newcomer Welcome Centre

“There’s been a few hundred, if not a thousand, t-shirts [ordered to] Swift Current since that day,” Houston said. 

She added that teachers in the area have been reaching out to her recently, which could eventually lead to a classroom visiting a senior facility and pairing up the generations. 

Not only have the schools and local businesses welcomed Better Together with open arms, but the City has as well. 

McNabb and Houston visited Mayor Al Bridal together in September, once to meet with him and another time to present the initiative to the council, who were all dressed in their t-shirts.  

“The City has really been on board,” Houston said. “Especially Jackie Schlamp, who is our city clerk. She’s been a huge advocate for this.”  

One main goal for the southwest group is to reach out to farmers in the surrounding areas, now that harvest is slowing down.  

Houston expressed wanting to connect with farm-based businesses and the agriculture community as they tend to be more private demographics, and she feels that Better Together would be huge for them. 

Currently, the organization is social-media-based, and t-shirts can be ordered by going to the Better Together website or Facebook page.