Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy 2014-2017
|Click photo to view the RCDSB Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy.|
The RCDSB recognizes mental health as essential to student success.
The RCDSB commitment to student mental health, well-being and achievement is communicated through action in the board Strategic Plan for 2013-2017.
The Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy aligns with the strategic plan and supports the three guiding principles laid out in the Board Improvement Plan.
The strategy builds upon the existing foundation for student achievement and educational platform initiatives that set a foundation for integrating mental health.
Some examples of educational platform initiatives include: Character Development, Safe Schools, Equity and Inclusion, Learning For All, Reach Every Child, Early Learning and the framework for School Effectiveness. The Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy provides vision and planning for leading effective school mental health. The development of the strategy is guided by provincial initiatives and current best practice research for leading mentally healthy schools. Through the leadership of the RCDSB Mental Health Team, the vision is informed by data collected from district leaders, school administrators, school staff and secondary students using a combination of surveys and focus groups.
The RCDSB school priorities were identified through board scan and resource mapping data that showed anxiety, depression and social relationships as the most significant areas to begin addressing the mental health needs of students within the RCDSB. The goals for the three year strategy focus on developing the organizational conditions, capacity building, and implementation supports for leading mentally healthy schools.
The strategy uses a tiered model that promotes well-being for all, prevention and intervention for students, and clear pathways to support for students, staff, parents and families.
Collaboration among the school, home and community is designed to foster engagement in cultivating mentally healthy school communities.
Capacity building and evidence based/informed practices foster effective service delivery and close critical gaps in knowledge and support for student mental health.
To download a printable copy, click here (PDF 5 Mb).
The following are some resources on mental health. These links take you to external websites that are not maintained by the RCDSB and are provided for your information. Inquiries should be made to the webmasters of these websites.
Canadian Mental Health Association - useful resources on a range of mental health issues including depression, bullying, addictions, sexuality and more.
Change our World - part of the Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA) and the Ontario Teachers' Federation's (OTF) provincial project Safe@School, Change Our World supports students and adults in changing the way we think, act and treat one other.
Children's Mental Health Ontario - represents and supports the providers of child and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario.
COPA - a provincial Francophone organization providing skills, tools and resources to foster safe, strong and free schools and communities in Ontario.
Kids Help Phone - children and teens can visit the website or call 1-800-668-6868 for free, 24 hour, anonymous service.
MindYourMind - an award-winning website that provides resources and tools to support youth and emerging adults with mental health concerns.
Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health - builds connections, shares knowledge and draws upon its expertise to enhance the skills of front line service providers.
Ontario Mental Health Association - promotes the mental health of people living in Ontario to prevent mental illness and to improve diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation.
Parents For Children's Mental Health (PCMH) - a provincial, nonprofit, parent-led organization providing support, education, and empowerment by linking networks of families, communities, agencies, and government. PCMH believes in the promotion of family-centered principles of care.
Safe at School - a provincial initiative by the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), the Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA) and funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education, the site is designed for Ontario teachers to foster safe, strong and free schools and communities.
Youth Mental Health Court Service of the Youth Therapeutic Court - a range of easily accessible, helpful publications at no cost. This Southwestern Ontario program supports the mental health needs of youth in the justice system.
Year 1 Accomplishments (2013-2014)
|2013-2014 RCDSB Student Trustee Keith Sheppard was one of the hosts of the inaugural Amplify event.|
Completed a board scan and mapped resources currently available to support school mental health. Information was collected through surveys and focus groups involving senior administration, school staff, secretaries and secondary students. Through the information collected, three main priority areas for capacity building and support were identified. The three priority areas are anxiety, depression and social relationships.
Formed an RCDSB Mental Health Leadership team to oversee the strategic development and implementation of the Mental Health and Addictions strategy.
Increased capacity as a suicide safer community through training in Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training. Fifty-one staff from various roles were trained: including, principals, vice principals, student success teams and school support counsellors.
Raised awareness of mental health through presentations to various committees within the education system. Raised awareness of school mental health among parents and families through presentations made available through the Parent Involvement Committee events. Raised awareness of positive mental and well-being during Mental Health Week. Resources were made available through the board website; school communities held various activities in support of raising awareness throughout the week. In system preparation for delivery of mental health literacy to educators and staff working directly with children and youth.
Increased collaboration and support for school mental health within the education system and with community agencies. One of the collaborated efforts involved RCDSB participation in Amplify 2014; a youth led initiative supporting mobilization for community change. Details of the event from last year and information about the upcoming event for this year can be found on at www.thrive4youth.com
Developed a three-year RCDSB Mental Health & Well-Being Strategy with a one-year action plan.
This year the RCDSB will be moving forward to establish the organizational conditions, capacity building and implementation of pilot evidenced based/informed practices in mental health promotion and prevention.
Mental well-being is vital to your success in school. Many challenges that affect adults can affect children and youth too like anxiety, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse and more.
Your Mental Health Matters
Mental disorders affect 10 to 20 percent of Canadian youth, but only one out of every five youth receive the help they need (Canadian Mental Health Association). That's why the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) is committed to supporting you in all areas of your life. We want to educate those who work with you every day on effective mental health strategies and early warning signs of mental illness so you get the help you need sooner.
How We Support Students & Their Families
|RCDSB Mental Health Leader Lisa LaRiviere.|
RCDSB Mental Health Leader Lisa LaRiviere seeks to generate commitment and momentum in the creation of a compassionate and caring system meeting the needs of children and youth through her leadership role with the board.
LaRiviere will assist in meeting the mental health needs of RCDSB students across the Valley. LaRiviere comes to the position with more than 10 years of clinical experience.
LaRiviere graduated from Carleton University with a Masters degree in Social Work and pursued specialized training in stress and wellness consulting through the Canadian Institute of Stress. Prior to that she had achieved her Bachelor of Social Work also at Carleton University and completed the Social Service Worker program through Algonquin College in Pembroke.
The Ministry of Education has been working with school boards to provide educators with the tools and knowledge they need to identify children and youth with mental health and addictions issues, and intervene effectively.
This provincially-driven strategy focuses on children and youth and is meant to create a more integrated and responsive child and youth mental health system.
This is achieved by providing fast access to high quality services for children, youth and their families with mental health and addictions needs; identifying and intervening in child and youth mental health and addictions needs early; and closing critical service gaps for vulnerable children and youth.
The RCDSB collaborates with many supports to assist students experiencing mental health challenges. We engage:
- School Support Counsellors - who help children, families, teachers and administrators maximize students' educational experiences. They can help with developing strategies to overcome social and emotional stress resulting from home, community or school related circumstances.
- Mental Health Therapists - are in each of our secondary schools as part of our intervention/prevention teams through the Phoenix Centreto provide support for acute clinical needs.
- Safe and Supportive Schools - we are committed to providing a safe, nurturing environment where every student feels valued and a sense of belonging. Students who feel attached to their school or a significant adult there, report less substance abuse, fewer incidents of bullying and victimization, better school attendance and stronger academic performance.
- Community Partnerships - the RCDSB collaborates with a range of agencies to support children and youth with their mental well-being including the Phoenix Centre, a member of Children's Mental Health Ontario. Our Warning Signs guidebook (PDF, 4.4 mB) provides a list of our community partners in the back pages. Please note that this PDF will take considerable time to download.
- Ontario's Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy - Ontario's Open Minds, Healthy Minds strategy supports mental health from childhood to old age and provides integrated services and support for Ontarians if they experience a mental illness or addictions.