MENTAL HEALTH

Addressing it in the school (Halton District School Board)

Mental Health is defined as:

"A state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community." (World Health Organization)

It is important that we address this issue in our schools, as 1 in 5 children struggle with their mental health (Children's Mental Health Ontario)


Some factors that contribute to mental health include: genetics, negative early life experiences, self-esteem and current social circumstances (Children's Mental Health Ontario)

How do we promote good mental health in HDSB schools?

* Anti-bullying campaigns (Preventing Bullying Brochure)
http://www.hdsb.ca/Downloads/PreventingBullying.pdf

* School Connectedness Game
(pdf link found here: http://www.halton.ca/cms/One.aspx?pageId=90578)

* Teaching Emotional Intelligence to our students with a focus on:
  • Self-Awareness (recognizing feelings)
  • Managing Emotions (finding ways to deal with emotions)
  • Empathy (understanding the feelings of others)
  • Communication (being able to express feelings in a positive manner)
  • Co-operation (knowing when and how to take the lead)
  • Resolving conflicts (using all of these EI skills together to resolve conflicts)

How can we educate our students on mental health in HDSB schools?

1. Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
  • Teach anti-bullying & self-esteem themes through role-play
  • Incorporate Emotional Intelligence themes into curriculum planning
  • P.A.L.S. (Playground Activity Leaders in Schools program)
http://www.halton.ca/cms/One.aspx?portalId=8310&pageId=126228
  • Use Stress Lessons Classroom Toolkit
http://www.morethanmedication.ca/en/stress_lessons/insiders?educators
  • Incorporate yoga and deep breathing techniques into Phys. Ed programs
2. Social & Physical Environment
  • Mental Health Liaison program
http://www.halton.ca/cms/one.aspx?portalId=8310&pageId=10452
  • Schools as a Setting for Promoting Positive Mental Health
http://www.jcsh-cces.ca/upload/PMH%20July10%202011%20WebReady.pdf
3. Home, School & Community Partnership
  • Canadian Mental Health Association
http://www.cmha.ca/
  • Children's Mental Health Ontario
http://www.kidsmentalhealth.ca/
  • New Mentality Halton
http://www.newmentalityhalton.ca/

Resources

  • World Health Organization website
  • Children's Mental Health Ontario website
  • Halton District School Board website
  • Halton Region website