School District 47 establishes mental health resource center

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School District 47 has developed a mental health resource center.

At the education council meeting on November 17, Superintendent of Schools Jay Yule said development is part of the school district’s planning in discussions about mental health, not only for staff, but also for students and parents, and how it is supported. Yule said there was anxiety and not everyone knew where the resources were.

“So that’s really how we can help get this information out to all of these groups so they know what kinds of resources are available,” Yule said. “This is what this project is all about.

Director of Instruction Allison Burt said there had been many discussions with union presidents, administrators and others in the district, wanting to address the characteristics of mental health and well-being that are present not only in this community, but provincially and nationally, especially with COVID-19.

“There are a lot of questions about where to find support, what supports are available, and trying to go through the mental health features available in the system,” Burt said.

She said there are individual things people can do for their own care and well-being. She said the initiative also aims to raise awareness about the group or organizational elements in place, such as mental health grants available to schools.

Burt said the intention is to put the resource center on the school district’s website. She said there will be clickable links to actual programs for people.

“We’re talking about all stakeholder groups,” Burt said. “We want teachers and staff to have access to it, we want parents and students to have access to it, and community members to even be able to access it. Everything is in one place.

Burt said one column on the list will focus on educating people about mental health and wellness; the second column will focus on taking charge of their positive mental health. When intervention is needed, there will be a list of places people can go. There will also be examples of wellness activities that teachers and students can do on their own.

“We’re really trying to identify all three levels at the same time,” Burt said. “So what do we do individually, what do we do as a class and what do we do as a school district? “

President Dale Lawson asked about the hub’s launch schedule. Burt said it’s almost ready, so it’s due to launch the week of November 22. She said it could also be highlighted on the school district’s social media. Schools have Instagram pages where the hub could be highlighted, according to Burt.

Yule said the school district has the capacity to disseminate information to all families and all students.

“When we first started having this conversation, there were a lot of resources there, but people just didn’t seem to know,” Yule said.

Burt said the hub is a way to create a one-stop shop for people who may be feeling overwhelmed.

The mental health resource center can be found by going to the school district’s website at sd47.bc.ca and clicking on the programs and services button.


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