Liana Thompson, Superintendent of Education in Grand Erie, has been selected to take part in School Mental Health Ontario (SMH-ON)’s Strategic Planning Consultation Group to help develop Ontario’s first Equity in School Mental Health Strategy. Chosen from more than 100 applicants, Thompson joins a diverse group of professionals from across Ontario’s education sector who will be responsible for developing a multi-year strategy around equity in school mental health.
“I’m excited to have been chosen to take part in this consultative process, and appreciate getting to hear input from students, mental health professionals, teachers, principals and superintendents from across the province,” said Thompson, who is responsible for the special education and student mental health and well-being portfolios in Grand Erie. “I hope that my learning during this process will be of benefit to Grand Erie, and conversely, I hope that the strategies, supports, thoughts and opinions that I share may be useful to others in the province as well.”
“Grand Erie District School Board is immensely proud to have Liana represent our district and contribute to the development of Ontario’s first mental health strategy for equity in schools. Liana has been an incredible champion of mental health and well-being for students and staff in our school community and we are excited to see the impact she will have,” said Grand Erie’s Director of Education, JoAnna Roberto.
SMH-ON asserts that every student deserves to have access to evidence-based mental health promotion and prevention programming, and that schools are an ideal place for mental health promotion, prevention, and early intervention. Through an evidence-based and systematic approach, it works to help students on their journey to mental wellness and flourish. The organization has invited participation from educational leaders in areas of student mental health and well-being, and strongly encouraged those who identify as Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQ+, live in rural communities, or are Francophone to apply to take part in the strategic visioning.
Thompson adds that over the years, there has been significant progress in the recognition of the need for expanded supports and strategies for student mental health and well-being in our schools, and she’s happy to see the direction Grand Erie is moving.
“We have a lot to be proud of,” Thompson added. “We have a strong Mental Health Strategy led by a fantastic Mental Health and Well-Being Lead, and have been asked in the past by SMH-ON if we would be willing to share resources that have been developed in Grand Erie to be included in their provincial resources. I feel privileged to be able to participate in this initiative and bring not only my educational and professional background to the table, but also my lived experience.”
Grand Erie works to create and promote enabling environments where all students can participate fully in their education, and access supports and resources when needed.