Would you or your staff benefit from training to enhance children’s mental health through extra-curricular programs? The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario has partnered with HIGH FIVE, a division of Parks and Recreation Ontario, to update and launch a training opportunity for trainers of children’s supervisors called Strengthening Children’s Mental Health (SCMH). This training is being offered to support demand from organizations across Canada for further professional development opportunities specifically in children’s mental health. The training was developed to help after-school program staff promote positive mental health, enhance resiliency and respond appropriately to mental health conditions in children.
The first official six-hour sessions of SCMH trainer training will be on Thursday, October 30th and Tuesday, December 9th in Toronto. For more details, see the flyer attached.
Once participants have taken this six-hour trainer training, they will be able to deliver the five-hour SCMH training to children’s supervisors. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Rationale for the SCMH Initiative
Almost one in five young people in Canada live with a mental health condition; and only 20 percent of those that require mental health services actually receive them. Additionally, up to 70 percent of mental health issues begin in childhood and adolescence. As a result, early intervention for young people can greatly improve their mental health and quality of life.
The after school hours represent a critical period of time for children and youth. After school program providers are in a unique position to foster supportive environments, improve health literacy, promote physical activity and support team-building exercises to increase positive interactions amongst peers.
History of the SCMH Initiative
The Ontario After School Collaborative was established in 2008 to strengthen the ability of community-based providers to deliver quality after-school programs that enhance the health and well-being of children and youth through a train-the-trainer approach.
The Collaborative is comprised of seven provincial organizations: Boys & Girls Clubs of Canada; Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario; Evidence Evaluation and Consulting; Ophea; Ontario Public Health Association; Parks and Recreation Ontario; and the YMCA.
The Ontario government has recognized children and youth’s mental health as a priority within its Comprehensive Mental Health and Addiction Strategy, “Open Minds, Healthy Minds.”
In alignment with this provincial commitment, the Collaborative developed a two-year, evidence-informed strategy called, Enhancing the Quality of Ontario’s After School Programs: A Provincial Collaborative Approach. The SCMH initiative is one of the components that emerged from this quality improvement strategy.