- Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) - http://www.hpedsb.on.ca -

Student mental health and well-being

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Students who have strong relationships and a positive sense of self are in a better position to reach their full potential. We believe it is essential to support all students to have a positive sense of well-being—the sense of self, identity, and belonging in the world that will help them to learn, grow and thrive—in order for students to be successful in school.

“Children who experience a greater sense of well-being are more able to learn and assimilate information in effective ways; more likely to engage in healthy and fulfilling social behaviours; more likely to invest in their own and others’ well-being and in the sustainability of the planet, as they take up their social, professional and leadership roles in adulthood.”
–Adapted from The Kindergarten Program, 2016, p. 58, citing Awartani, Whitman, and Gordon, 2008

School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO) resources for families

Self-harm supports

Resources from SMHO

Resources from Kids Help Phone

Links and resources

 

 

Mental Health Support information

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62124/62108

Fax: 613-966-9322

Email: [email protected]

Mental Health Lead: Deborah Warring, [email protected], 613-966-1170 ext. 62535

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Mental Health

Mental health and promoting well-being

Guidance about student mental health and well-being is provided by our Mental Health Leadership Team. They work with our Mental Health Advisory Committee to improve well-being for all. Overall, we strive to create welcoming, inclusive and safe learning environments that optimize students’ potential.

Schools are ideal places to help advance and support student mental health and well-being. They are also where we can identify the early signs of when students may be struggling with a mental health issue or with a mental illness.

Results from school climate surveys continue to indicate that anxiety, depression, aggression, substance use and social relationships are some of the primary mental health concerns for students.

Our Growing with Character [21] approach to student social and emotional is another way we are building mentally healthy classrooms.

Our priorities

  • To enhance mental health awareness and mental health literacy throughout HPEDSB
  • To explore the implementation of evidence-based mental health promotion and mental health prevention programming
  • To continue the evolution of organizational conditions focusing on the development of standard processes and protocols that align our Mental Health Strategy with other HPEDSB initiatives, as well as promote accountability and define the pathway to care

Links and resources

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62124/62108

Fax: 613-966-9322

Email: [email protected]

Mental Health Lead: Deborah Warring, [email protected], 613-966-1170 ext. 62535

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Safe & Accepting Schools

Safe and accepting schools

A positive school climate exists when everyone in the school community feels safe, included and accepted.

Students, parents/guardians, school staff, community partners and visitors have the right to be safe, and to feel safe in their school community. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate.

The promotion and use of various strategies and initiatives all help to create a positive school climate. Examples being used at HPEDSB schools are restorative practices, mental health promotion programs, character development and prevention and intervention strategies to address inappropriate behaviour.

The provincial and Board Codes of Conduct set clear standards of behaviour for a safe and positive school climate. Physical, verbal, written, sexual, or psychological abuse, bullying, discrimination and the willful damage of property are not tolerated. These standards of behaviour apply to students whether they are on school property, on school buses, at school-related events or activities, or in other circumstances that could have an impact on the school climate. They also apply to all individuals involved in the publicly-funded school system—principals, teachers, other school staff, parents, volunteers, and community groups.

Explore this section to learn more about fostering safe and healthy environments, restorative practices, progressive discipline, bullying awareness and prevention, community supports and safe schools legislation.

Links and resources

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62124/62108

Fax: 613-966-9322

Email: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter [20]

Equity & Inclusive Education

Equity and inclusive education

Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board (HPEDSB) is committed to excellence in education and supporting optimal learning and achievement for all students. Equity of opportunity and equity of access to all programs, services and resources are critical to the well-being of those who serve our school system and to the achievement of successful outcomes for each student we serve. Find out more in our 2021-2024 Equity Action Plan (pdf) [26].

We are further committed to the elimination of discrimination, as outlined in Ontario’s Ministry of Education Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy (Pdf), [27] Equity Action Plan (2017) and the Ontario Human Rights Code.

Initiatives

  • Culturally Response and Relevant Practice

This professional learning collaboration presented by the Antiracist Multicultural Education Network of Ontario ameno.ca focused on capacity around equity and inclusive education through Culturally Responsive and Relevant Practice. Eighteen elementary and secondary teachers used a model that starts with Knowing Self and Knowing Students to work towards or deepen their understanding of what it means to be culturally responsive in our classrooms and schools. Through reflective activities, research and curriculum based frameworks, readings and video clips, educators were supported to bring the principles of equity and inclusive education to teaching and learning. The workshop challenged teachers to examine their assumptions, values and beliefs and how privilege and personal bias impacts on the design, delivery and assessment of the Ontario curriculum.

“When we lose the right to be different we lose the privilege to be free.” –Nelson Mandela

  • Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy

In partnership with the Ottawa Regional Equity & Inclusive Education Network, 32 teachers and administrators have been participating with our co-terminus boards in professional learning creating culturally responsive and relevant pedagogy. The interactive sessions provide the framework for teachers and administrators to understand the foundations of Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy within the Canadian context. Together, all participants begin to plan and act to implement equitable change in their schools and classrooms. The Equity continuum: action for critical transformation in schools and classrooms a tool created by the Centre for Urban Schooling/OISE University of Toronto is being explored.

” … a lot of educators are unclear of what ‘equity’ means. Also, conversations about equity are difficult, so the Equity Continuum was a nice entry for a lot of teachers.” – Community based youth organizer, Toronto

  • Student Equity Leadership Forum

Elementary and secondary students have participated in a student equity leadership forum facilitated by Harmony Movement, harmony.ca [28], leading diversity training organization in Ontario. This leadership opportunity aims to create more equitable and inclusive schools and communities. Using interactive games and activities, as well as examples from popular media, this training program introduces students to issues of equity, diversity and inclusion while developing their abilities to take leadership for social change.

“Privilege is invisible to those who have it.” – Michael Kimmel, sociologist and gender studied specialist

Various initiatives and program supports

  • Pink Shirt Day

Pink Shirt Day is an annual event that encourages the HPEDSB community to demonstrate our shared belief in the power of celebrating diversity and acceptance by wearing a pink shirt. By wearing pink, we also acknowledge and offer support for the ongoing efforts to increase awareness of bullying prevention initiatives, the work of school teams, and the role-modeling provided by all student leaders in our schools.

Pink Shirt Day also connects to our Say and Do Nice Things campaigns, which is our award-winning and research-based campaign about feeling welcome and included.

  • Ambassadors for Inclusion

Ambassadors for Inclusion is for secondary school students. It is offered through a partnership between HPEDSB and Community Living Prince Edward clpe.on.ca [29]. This program originated at Prince Edward Collegiate Institute and is now being expanded across the district. Using a train-the-trainer approach, student ambassadors promote an inclusive education experience for students with disabilities. The Ambassadors for Inclusion Program, funded by the United Way, aligns with the Ministry of Education document Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario, as well as with the HPEDSB Equity goal.

  • Gay/straight alliance (GSA)/diversity clubs

All employees and students have the right to a safe and healthy school environment. Many secondary schools have established GSAs within their school community. Our Equity and Inclusivity team is available to support schools in the creation of welcoming, safe, supportive and inclusive schools for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer and questioning (LGBTQ+) community. The website, My GSA – Canada’s Safer Schools and Inclusive Education, mygsa.ca [30], provides support for the students for their gay-straight alliance or LGBTQ+ safer space group.

  • Say and Do Nice Things

The third week of November is recognized as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week in Ontario. It is a time for students, employees, parents/guardians and community to learn more about bullying and its effect on student achievement and well-being. Every year we roll our Say and Do Nice Things campaign out as a way for positive comments or stories to be shared at schools, the Education Centre and through families and communities.

Links and resources

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62308

Fax: 613-966-6023

Email: [email protected]

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Attendance

Attendance at school is important

Every school day counts!

Some students and families face challenges that make it difficult for students to go to school on a daily basis. As a result of their circumstances, these students are regularly absent from school and/or may participate in worrisome behaviours at home, school or in the community

Being at school every day is essential for students to learn and be successful.

Links and resources

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170

Fax: 613-966-9322

Email: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter [20]

Services

Social worker, and child and youth worker services

Social workers are regulated mental health professionals. Social workers provide support to students who are experiencing social, emotional, mental health and addictions concerns.

Child and youth workers work in the elementary schools supporting students who are experiencing social, emotional or behavioural problems.

What support is provided?

Social workers are school-based, regulated mental health professionals. Social workers offer therapeutic counselling services, crisis response services, suicide intervention support and evidence based mental health programs and services.

Child and youth workers are a school-based resource in elementary schools. Child and youth workers assist students, their families and school personnel with school attendance, social, emotional or behavioural problems.

How do families access social workers, and child and youth workers (CYWs)?

Referrals for social work and child and youth worker services may come from:

  • Community agency
  • Parents/guardians
  • Self referral
  • School personnel

For more information regarding the referral process, contact your child’s school principal.

Links and resources

Programs

The FRIENDS Programs are scientifically validated and are recognized by the World Health Organization as best practice for the prevention and treatment of anxiety and depression in children.

MindUP is an evidence-informed Scholastic and Hawn Foundation program. It teaches social and emotional learning skills that link cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology and mindful awareness training utilizing a brain centric approach.

Second step is an evidence informed student success through prevention program that targets social-emotional learning.

The Fourth R: Skills for Youth Relationships is a curriculum for students in Grade 8-9. It promotes healthy and safe behaviour related to dating, bullying, sexuality and substance use.

Links and resources

Contact information

Toll-free: 1-800-267-4350

Phone: 613-966-1170 extension 62124/62108

Fax: 613-966-9322

Email: [email protected]

Follow on Twitter [20]