Mental health and well-being are core elements of our Return to School Plan 2021-2022. Our mental health staff will implement a tiered approach to support all students and to target intensive help to those most effected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to collaborate with community agencies to effectively access resources and support for students and families.
Key Areas of Focus:
- Make mental health and well-being a core element of the re-entry to school.
- Develop Mental Health literacy curriculum.
- Collaborate with child and youth mental health agencies to support stronger connections.
- Continue with local Staff Wellness Committees at each school/work site.
- Provide professional learning for system leaders, educators and mental health professionals.
The following are the key considerations for the September 2021 return to school:
- We will implement a Mental Health Literacy Curriculum in all Secondary Schools and provide elementary resources as they are released from School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO).
- We will provide ongoing professional learning for system leaders, educators & mental health professionals to support a trauma informed approach to school re-entry and throughout the year.
- We will implement a tiered approach for mental health support that will capture all students and target intensive help to those who need it. Tools will be provided with a focus on September start, initial staff meeting, faith and wellness, meetings, mental health awareness week, early years learners and virtual learners.
- We will collaborate with community partners to make strong connections and to provide additional Mental Health & Well Being support for students and families.
- We have updated our Compassionate Care and Crisis Response resources to include supports for responding virtually.
- We will continue with local Staff Wellness Committees at each school/work site.
- Our continuing commitment is to ensure our schools and workplaces are safe and welcoming for all, and that we cultivate a positive sense of belonging and well-being. To do this, we will continue to use a variety of tools and resources that will enable staff to support each other. As well, system resources such as our Employee Assistance Program (EAP) will be highlighted and promoted so staff can access additional support.
Resources for Parents and Families:
- School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO)
- Mental Health & Well-Being at HCDSB
- Supporting Mental Health and Wellness During Return to School Tip Sheet
Resources for Staff:
- Faith and Wellness: A Daily Mental Health Resource
- The First 10 Days and Beyond – Creating Caring Connections and Supporting Student Mental Health and Well-Being During Return to School
- Supporting Staff Mental Health and Well-Being
- Supporting Minds
- School Mental Health Ontario – Mentally Healthy Classroom Reflection Tool
- School Mental Health Ontario – Understanding Anti-Black Racism for Mental Health and Well-Being of Black and Racialized Students
- School Mental Health Ontario – Supporting Mentally Healthy Conversations About Anti-Black Racism with Students
- Creating Ways to Mitigate Stress Responses in Students, Families and Staff