Spotlight: Mental Health Initiatives in Canadian schools

Good mental health for everyone is the mission driving CAMH’s Mental Health Week (May 6-12th, 2019). Here we explore the mental health landscape in Canadian schools, and highlight some of the resources available to school districts, administrators and educators to promote student well-being.

By comparing and contrasting, we can try to determine the type of supports that need to be in place for a robust mental health strategy in schools.

The list of these provincial programs and the support provided  is not exhaustive but there are some clear trends across the different initiatives.

First off, the needs of  the students need to be met regardless of location. Therefore, the reach of all these programs is province-wide, even though scaling and monitoring progress could be challenging in some remote areas. Access to health professionals, “leads” at the school district level, and in many cases, within a network of schools,  is key to delivering professional care .

Another interesting find was availability of grants and capacity building tools for schools spearheading health initiatives in their community. Lastly, we find that the universal trend is to educate all stakeholders and provide opportunities to spread awareness through campaigns, events and training.  

  2. Disclaimer: Not a fully comprehensive list, only major initiatives highlighted here
  7. Disclaimer: Not a fully comprehensive list, only major initiatives highlighted here

Swara Narayanan is a region lead, supporting the K12 implementation team across Canada. She is passionate about driving change and innovation in the education space. Swara has always been an avid foodie, and dreams of owning a sustainable restaurant and food enterprise some day.

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