Hello everyone! I am happy to be presenting my first blog of the new school year. I currently sit on the Equity Committee where I have various opportunities to help plan and implement classroom and school wide initiatives pertaining to Respectful and Inclusive Learning Communities as well as a commitment to supporting Mental Health and Well-Being, which reflects the York Region District School Board's Improvement Plan and Mental Health Strategy.
Board Improvement Plan
"The evolution in thinking represented by this Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA) creates district coherence while recognizing individual school contexts. This BIPSA makes clear our commitment to improve student experiences and outcomes in each of our identified focus areas: Modern Learning, Mathematics and Mental Health. The foundational practices of Equity, Innovation, and Leadership are evident throughout the actions of each strategy" (YRDSB).
Mental Health Strategy
To improve student achievement and well-being we will:
- "Promote resiliency in our students and foster welcoming, supportive communities.
- Implement a systemic stigma reduction campaign for schools and workplaces.
- Continue to support the implementation of a scaffolded approach to building capacity regarding mental health awareness, mental health literacy and mental health expertise.
- Promote and implement evidence-based practices for building mentally healthy working and learning environments.
- Support the training and implementation of the LivingWorks Suicide Prevention programs and participate in the development of a Community Suicide Intervention Protocol for York Region.
- Support the development and implementation of the community plan for the delivery of mental health services and supports in York Region with the MCYS Lead Agency, Kinark Child and Family Services.
- Reinforce ongoing YRDSB work in well-being via the YRDSB Well-Being Steering Committee which will:
- continue to develop strategies to address issues of bullying, cyberbullying and substance misuse and abuse;
- provide supports for positive student character development and good citizenship;
- grow our environmental initiatives and Ontario EcoSchools certification rates;
- continue to foster student involvement and citizenship through character education; and
- continue to support schools and workplaces in their planning for Healthy, Caring and Safe environments.
- Engage parents and the community in supporting the well-being of our students.
- Create a renewed mental health strategy" (YRDSB Director's Annual Plan).
Curation of Children's Books
Over the Summer, I compiled a list of children's books and resources for a variety of Mental Illnesses so that educators, parents, and caregivers have a starting point for introducing the topic, reducing stigma, and providing awareness and support.
- ANXIETY/SOCIAL ANXIETY/PANIC DISORDER
- OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE DISORDER
- ATTENTION DEFICIT HYPERACTIVITY DISORDER
- BIPOLAR DISORDER
- SUBSTANCE ABUSE
- EATING DISORDERS
- SCHIZOPHRENIA DISORDER
- POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER (PTSD)
I tried to condense the list for the purpose of this blog but you may email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain a full list of children's books about Mental Health. Also, please feel free to review my Mental Health and Well-Being blog post from June 2016 for more information and resources as to how we have begun to support students in our school community!