Information & Resources about Mental Health and Well-being for Parents

The RCDSB recognizes that mental health and well-being are essential to achievement and student success. That's why in October 2017, a three year plan was unveiled.  

The Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy provides a vision and planning strategy for supporting mentally healthy and thriving school communities.  The development of the strategy is guided by provincial initiatives and current research. The tiered strategy promotes well-being for all, prevention and intervention for students and outlines a clear pathway to support students, staff, parents and families. 


Join us on our journey to Lead with CARE.  

We invite everyone to join us on our journey to Lead with CARE.  Lead with CARE is our motto for student mental health and represents our tiered pathway for mental health promotion, prevention and intervention. Everyone can Lead with CARE to promote mental health and well-being. One of the ways you can Lead with CARE is by taking time everyday to care for ourselves, while caring for each other.  


mental health week video

Watch this 2 minute video to learn about RCDSB Lead with CARE approach to student mental health and meet our School Mental Health Teams!  

 MESSAGE to all STUDENTS, PARENTS, GUARDIANS, FAMILIES, & STAFF:  We invite you to join us on our journey to Lead with CARE by taking time everyday to care for ourselves, while caring for each other. You Are Important!

Email contact list for Principals, Vice Principals, and School Support Counsellors per school.

Learn about the TAKE TIME TODAY CHALLENGE, click HERE to learn about the daily challenges from the Healthy Mind Platter.












Find more mental health promotion strategies for Leading with CARE below, with thanks to School Mental Health Ontario.  

Four Finger Affirmation Challenge Find a complete set of mental health promotion strategies for elementary schools and home environments, here. French version available here

Secondary Four Finger Affirmation Find a complete set of mental health promotion strategies for secondary schools and home environments here. French version available here.


FFA   FFAS calm place   calm place secondary

gratitude moment   gratitude moment secondary  just breathe   just breathe secondary

Just listen   Just Listen Secondary  Just Notice   Just Notice Secondary

Let It Go   Let It Go Secondary    Tense And relax       

You may also find helpful: Reach Out & Self Care 101



  •  The ABC's of Mental Health  This website provides two free, web-based Resources - one for teachers and one for parents - to help answer questions about mental health. The Resources include ideas for promoting the mental health of children and adolescents, information about how children change as they get older, descriptions of behaviours that might indicate a problem, and practical suggestions for steps to take.  
  • HEALTHY MINDS CANADA Information about the ToolOnline Resource Tool for Parents This website is a quick reference guide of useful coping strategies and resources for parents and caregivers to help them with children who havemood, behavioural or thinking problems. This online tool includes twelve sections associated with managing problem behaviour in children: Anxiety and Anxiety Disorders, Autism and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Eating Disorders, Impulse Control Disorders (ICD), Mood Disorders, Schizophrenia, Suicide, Tourette Syndrome (TS), Working with your Health Practitioner, and Resources. It is based on the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV). THIS IS NOT A DIAGNOSTIC TOOL AND IS ONLY MEANT TO HELP PROVIDE COPING STRATEGIES AND OFFER RESOURCES BASED ON THE BEHAVIOURS YOU INPUT.


Stress has positive and negative implications for Mental Health

Don't go N.U.T.S. with Stress!

We each have unique triggers that cause stress but according to Dr. Sonia Lupien, the director of the Center for Studies on Human Stress, all stressors have something in common. Scientific research has shown that for a situation to be stressful it must contain one or more of the following characteristics. 

N - novelty; something new

- unpredictability; no way of knowing it could occur

T - threat to the ego; feeling your competence is questioned

- sense of control; feeling you have little or no control in a situation

The NUTS of stress applies to children and adults.  Click here for an article on Personal Resiliency for adults.

 Kids Have Stress too!

Kids Have Stress Too (KHST) is an evidence based program being used in classrooms across RCDSB.  



Physical Activity Toolbox

Stress Stop Light

Problem Solving

Problem Solving Tips for Parents

Stress Checklist for Parents to reduce stress in children

Things that stress or upset your child

Quick Ways to Relax

The What If Game

Stop, Look and Listen: Creative Ways to Communicate with Children

My Two Voices

Taking Care of Me

Grades 1-3 Program

Kids Have Stress Too! Gr 1-3 (english)

Kids Have Stress Too! Gr 1-3 (french)

Grades 4-6 Program

Stress Lessons Gr. 4-6 (english)

Stress Lessons Gr. 4-6 (french)

Grades 7-9 Program

Stress Lessons Gr. 7-9 (english)

Stress Lessons Gr. 7-9 (french)

Parent Guides

Stress Lessons gr. 7-9 Parent Guide

A Guide for Parents of Older Teenagers - Straight Talk



The ABC's of Stress

 KHST Booklet for Parents of PreSchoolers

The Parent-Child Connection

Attachment and Stress

Play and Learning 

Your School Age Child

Stress and Your Child

Positive Discipline Ideas for You and Your Child

Extremely Challenging Behaviour

Helping Children Flourish

Helping Kids Get Enough Sleep

Managing Screen Time

Helping Stressed Out Kids

Kids Can Cope

Raising Resilient Kids

Supporting School Resiliency

PreTeens and Discipline

PreTeen and Friends

PreTeen and Independence

PreTeen and Puberty

PreTeen and Relationships

You and Your PreTeen

Help Your Teen with Stress

Talking to Teens

The Struggle to Juggle: Stress Management Strategies for You and Your Family

Managing the Sandwich Challenge

WorkLife Balancing Strategies


Additional Resources

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. 

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 prĂ©vention 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.

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
A photo of RCDSB Mental Health Leader Lisa Lariviere
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:

  • In cooperation with seven community care agencies, RCDSB is a founding partner on a Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Postvention Protocol. The document outlines how each organization has a role and sets out a clear pathway to support staff and students as they develop the knowledge and skills to respond to the mental health needs of students within the RCDSB family. 

  • 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.