By Jason Misner
Friday, May 1, 2015 11:00 am ·  0 Comments
Various activities are planned at schools throughout the Board to highlight the week, which is designed to decrease the stigma associated with mental health, and increase awareness of the signs of child and youth mental health problems and available treatment options.
“The Halton District School Board is pleased to recognize Children’s Mental Health Week as part of our continuing commitment to promoting the positive mental health and well-being of our students,” said Mark Zonneveld, Superintendent of Education-Student Services. “We recognize that mental health and well-being requires a whole school and community approach including mental health awareness and education for staff and students. During this important week, schools may be involved in initiatives that range from morning announcements which focus on wellness, gratitude walls to store-front activities educating students on services available to them in their community.”
Sunningdale Public School (Oakville) will focusing on a theme called ‘Healthy Minds, Bodies and Souls’. Each morning will begin with upbeat music to engage students in their day of learning, followed by announcements that will bring awareness to children’s mental health and offer strategies to improve one’s mental health. Students will also enjoy the school’s Dreamacres School Naturalization Project, where various grades will take a brisk walk at various times throughout the school day to re-energize staff and students.
On Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 9 a.m., the Halton Runs for Mental Health event, co-sponsored by the Halton District School Board, is taking place at the Waterfront Hotel in Burlington. The objective is to promote positive mental health by walking or running in the 3 km and 5 km event. The event is also sponsored by the Halton Catholic District School Board and Cameron Helps, an organization committed to mental health promotion, suicide awareness and stigma reduction. Schools and individuals are invited to collect sponsorships to support individual or group participants.
In continuing its support of addressing mental health, the Board held a Mental Health Symposium in Burlington earlier in April. More than 320 Halton District School Board school Mental Health champions, Social Workers, Child and Youth Workers, and Professional Student Services Personnel staff attended. Ian Manion, Executive Director of the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health, was the keynote speaker. He spoke about the important role schools play in mental health promotion, prevention and intervention for students.
Staff members took part in numerous workshops that gave them strategies to promote mental health in schools. Topics included The Mentally Healthy Classroom, Mindfulness, and Classroom Strategies for Supporting Anxious Students. The event was sponsored through a generous donation by RBC’s Children’s Mental Health Project.
The Halton District School Board supports the promotion of positive mental health and well-being to support student success for all students. The Board works to create positive, engaging, safe and inclusive learning environments for students to succeed by increasing mental health literacy across the system, making connections to the Ontario curriculum, promoting positive mental health and communicating the services available within the school board and within the Halton community.
For more mental health information and helpful links, click here or visit www.hdsb.ca and click on the ‘Mental Health and Well-being’ button located on the homepage.
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