About The Child and Youth Mental Health Strategy
For more information about The Child and Youth Mental Health Strategy and its three pillars, contact:
School Mental Health and Well-Being Lead
Phone: 519-756-6301, ext. 287210
As a key pillar of the Child and Youth Mental Health Strategy, Grand Erie will continue to provide opportunities to develop the knowledge and skills required to safely respond to student well-being concerns including promoting suicide awareness and prevention skills.
Grand Erie delivers two programs developed by Living Works Education to support developing suicide awareness and prevention skills. Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) teaches effective intervention skills while helping to build suicide prevention networks in the community. It is a two-day interactive session where participants learn to intervene and help prevent immediate risk of suicide. Training opportunities are available for Grand Erie staff.
For more information visit ASIST page at LivingWorks
safeTALK is half-day training that prepares staff and interested students over the age of 15 to become suicide-alert helpers. safeTALK training will teach participants to recognize signs of potentially suicidal behaviour and equip them with skills though actions and words to be a connection to support.
For more information visit SafeTALK page at LivingWorks
September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. On this day, Grand Erie takes time to remind our communities about the importance of making connections with one another and promoting our well-being. When we take steps to build connections with others on a daily basis, we are building suicide-safer communities.
Grand Erie’s Child and Youth Mental Health Strategy is exploring opportunities to implement programs which promote the well-being of students. It seeks to align with many positive existing programs. Some of these programs are the MIND UP curriculum, TRIBES, and “Kids Have Stress Too”.
Elementary schools will have the opportunity to explore the MIND UP Curriculum, which teaches emotional learning skills, and nurtures optimism and happiness in the classroom. It helps eliminate bullying and aggression, increases empathy and compassion, while resolving peer conflicts in schools.
TRIBES is a program that strives to create a positive school and classroom environment as it is the most effective way to improve behaviour and learning. The program helps children feel included and appreciated by peers and teachers, respected for their different abilities, cultures, gender, interests and dreams. It allows children to be actively involved in their own learning and have positive expectations from others that they will achieve. TRIBES is a step-by-step learning process to achieve specific learning goals. Students will learn a set of collaborative skills so they can work well together in long-term groups.
“Kids Have Stress Too” is a program offered by the Psychology Foundation of Canada that is based on evidence, that with help, young children can learn practical strategies to relieve stress and effective ways to respond to stressful situations. By learning to deal with life’s ups and downs, children develop healthy strategies that will help them to adapt, regulate, be resourceful, feel competent and become more flexible and resilient.
The Student Mental Health and Well-Being Symposium is a 2 day, student co-planned and lead program that teaches wellness skills and strategies. Our goal is to support school teams of staff and students to bring back information and ideas to promote student health and well-being. Last year activities included yoga, art therapy, stress management and many more activities. Nine schools participated in our first year, and we are looking for students to participate this year who are excited to talk about mental health wellness. Volunteer hours are provided.
If you are interested in accessing a program or resource at your school, contact Piyali Bagchee, School Mental Health and Well-Being Lead:
What is mental health according to the World Health Organization?
"Mental health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease of infirmity.”
The term Mental Health is often understood as Mental Illness, but these are two very different things. Mental health is feeling like you have something to live for, feeling hopeful about the future, feeling in control of your life, feeling that people care about you and feeling a sense of satisfaction or happiness with life. Everyone has mental and physical health—we need to learn how best to take care of it.
Grand Erie is committed to providing learning opportunities to a range of employee groups, with a goal of increasing staff knowledge, skills and attitudes for promoting and supporting student mental health and well-being.
Many topics are explored through the following initiatives that create awareness and understanding related to specific mental health concerns, stigma reduction strategies, health promotion and encouragement for help-seeking:
Mental Health Monday Series is a free, after-school, professional development series offered to all Grand Erie staff. Staff have a voice in selecting the most important mental health topics they would like to learn about to promote and support the well-being of Grand Erie students. The learning is tailored to supporting educational professionals of all kinds, to develop practical skills and strategies they can use in school and classroom settings. Past topics included ADHD, anxiety and mood disorders. New topics for this year will include non-suicidal self-injury and managing complex behaviour. Staff who complete both sessions that are offered can earn certificates to add to their professional portfolios.
The Mental Health Minute is a mental health literacy resource that is circulated to all Grand Erie staff that unpacks a different mental health topic each month. Staff can access past issues of the Mental Health Minute via the staff portal. Suggestions for future topics are always welcomed. Please contact Piyali Bagchee, School Mental Health and Well-Being Lead at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mental Health Moment is a monthly professional development session that is offered to all Grand Erie administrators at Director’s meetings. During these meetings we unpack the topics covered in Mental Health Minutes, and make links to important mental health initiatives in Grand Erie. We strive to equip our Grand Erie Administrators with up-to-date and helpful mental health information to support their school communities.