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Mental Health and Well-being

The Superior North Catholic District School Board (SNCDSB) views child and youth mental health as an essential priority in our nine schools. Our Mental Health strategy recognizes that mental health, promoting well-being, ensuring equity, enhancing public confidence and creating a sense of belonging are essential in achieving leadership, excellence and overall student success.

"Our children will be happy and safe; our schools will be welcoming and accepting, our educators will feel supported, and our system will be mentally healthy and well.”

SNCDSB has a student-centred and team approach to educating the hearts, minds and souls of our students. Our programming fosters a sense of community between the students and educators. Student programming will continue to be strength-based, inquiry-based and differentiated.

The use of the following resources support student and staff Mental Health and Well-being:

Additional Links:

We have a team of regulated and non-regulated mental health professionals who can provide various services to our students and their families. Services may include elbow to elbow support in the classroom, parenting support and consultation with educators.

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Understanding Mental Health and Well-being

According to the World Health Organization, mental health is a state of well-being. When you have good mental health, you can deal with normal stresses of life, work productively, realize your potential and make a positive contribution to your community.

Statistics and Facts about Childhood Mental Health Problems

The number of children and youth with mental health problems has been increasing drastically. Statistics from the Canadian Mental Health Association show that only one in five children in Canada who need mental health treatment in Canada receives these services.

What is positive mental health?

Positive mental health includes:

  • feeling in control of your life and personal decisions
  • being able to cope with life's challenges and stresses
  • functioning well mentally, such as being able to focus while at work
  • being generally optimistic about life events
  • this means having hope that good things can, do and will happen in your life
  • feeling physically healthy
  • getting enough sleep
  • feeling like you belong to your community, such as your:
    • school
    • church
    • neighbourhood
    • workplace

Source: Canada, Public Health Agency of. “Government of Canada.” Canada.ca, / Gouvernement Du Canada, 25 Nov. 2019, www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/promoting-positive-mental-health.html#a1

Education is Essential to overcome Misinformation and Stigma

When parents and educators have sufficient knowledge about mental health and well-being, they are in a better position to identify mental health problems, understand and support children with mental health concerns.

If more people can recognize an issue, instead of missing early warning signs, more people can receive the treatment they need.

Treatment is always easier and more effective, the younger the person is when they receive help.

The Role of the Government of Ontario

Resource Guides

The government of Ontario recognizes an existing need for mental health and well-being awareness which is why resource guides like Guiding Principles Supporting Minds (PDF) were created. Supporting Minds was created in 2011 as part of a comprehensive mental health & addiction strategy for Ontario, and updated in 2015.

It is one of many resources the government has made available to school boards to enhance the recognition and support students with mental health problems. Supporting Minds targets educators given the vital role an entire community can play in children's upbringing.

The Guide helps Educators Identify Students

There are signs and symptoms of mental health problems, and if teachers, support staff, parents and our wider community learn to spot signs of mental health issues, then more children can seek proper treatment. The guide also provides tips to support children with mental disorders while at school.

Curriculum

The Ontario government and School Mental Health Ontario have developed resources and ready-made lesson plans that align with the Ontario Health Curriculum for Educators to utilize with students that focus on Social Emotional Learning.

Parental Guidelines

Parents are included in the government's effort to promote student's mental health and well-being through a website such a Ministry of Children and Youth Services.

The Children and Youth Services ministry also has a youth development resource dubbed Stepping Stones designed to help students/young people between ages 12 and 25 years.

The government has defined the role of parents in helping their children understand mental health.

For instance, parents are counseled to talk to their kids about mental health and well-being. There are guidelines on how parents can help their children understand and cope with mental health and well-being problems.

For instance, parents can help their children describe their emotions. Parents can also create opportunities for their children to open up and share their concerns.

Visit Kids Mental Health resource page or School Mental Health Ontario resource page for parents. 

Resources for Students

Students within the Superior North Catholic District School Board will be embraced as who they are and supported in caring and compassionate ways. We respect and value the dignity of all persons and take pride in creating spaces free of judgement and prejudice. Students who are experiencing difficulty at school are encouraged to reach out to a safe adult (parent, family member, school staff such as Teacher, Principal, Support Staff).

“We all have mental health, and we need to do our best to take care of it. But, just like physical health, our mental health changes now and then, and we go through periods when we don’t feel as mentally well” – School Mental Health Ontario

Visit School Mental Health Ontario resource page for students.

Other Initiatives and Policies

The Ministry of Education also has initiatives and policies in place to contribute to the mental health and overall well-being of students. Notable initiatives and policies include the following:

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