The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback on a draft resource guide about student mental health promotion for school educators. Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being is designed to provide educators with information on the early signs of mental health and addiction problems, along with strategies that can be used in the classroom to support students (kindergarten to Grade 12).
Supporting Minds links priorities from Ontario’s comprehensive mental health and addictions strategy to core priorities for education in the province. The guide is a complement to school board mental health initiatives and aims to build school-based capacity in promoting awareness, prevention and early intervention of mental health and addictions issues. Supporting Minds may be used by educators as well as school board mental health leaders in the development and implementation of comprehensive student mental health and addictions strategies.
The guide is presented in two parts:
- The first provides a general overview of mental health and addiction problems and introduces guidance on the role of educators in student mental health.
- The second part outlines the most common mental health problems among students and includes strategies to support students.
To provide feedback to this draft document, please contact Paul Grogan of the Special Education Policy and Programs Branch at the Ministry of Education at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feedback will be accepted until Fall 2014.
See Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-being at: www.edu.gov.on.ca.
For related information, see School Mental Health ASSIST site.
CMHA is also playing a role when it comes to mental health in the classroom. Various CMHA branches have public educators who have been actively promoting mental health to children and youth through programs, such as Talking About Mental Illness, an anti-stigma program that includes presentations by people with lived experience.
CMHA-developed curriculum modules, such as the Mental Health and High School Curriculum Guide, are also available for students and teachers. The guide provides information to help faculty and youth increase their knowledge of mental health and mental disorders. The guide also includes tools for teachers to promote dialogue among students.
Compassionate Classrooms is another resource book developed in collaboration with CMHA. It’s a tool for teachers to consider how they might promote good mental health of their students. This booklet was created to help teachers support students in need but it should also help teachers help themselves and colleagues to maintain good mental health.