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Mental Health

Given the link between emotional well-being and academic achievement, schools play an important role in promoting positive mental health. Educators can work to promote positive mental health within the school by providing education to students that works towards increasing protective factors, decreasing risk factors, increasing resiliency and decreasing inequities. Look at the Mental Health and Wellbeing at School infosheet for the many ways that educators can contribute to creating and sustaining a welcoming and inclusive school climate.

Select programs to use in your classroom, using the School Mental Health Assist Decision Support Tool.

  • Can You Feel It? – Suggested for Grades 5 to 8. Designed by youth for youth, “Can You Feel It?” helps students build the necessary life skills to manage and cope with the stress. This resource addresses such topics as: What is stress? How do we recognize it and how do we cope with it? School Health public health nurses can work with schools to incorporate “Can You Feel It?” as part of a comprehensive approach to building resiliency and positive mental health. Program components such as a video, posters, booklets, lesson plans, and school wide activities can be accessed through the School Health team. A short clip (2min:47sec) of the video can be viewed at: (VIDEO) (adapted from Public Health Sudbury and Districts).
  • The Psychology Foundation of Canada The Kids Have Stress Too! ® program is designed to provide educators with the awareness, knowledge and skills to help children and youth become more resilient, and healthier by learning to manage stress. With classroom lessons for Kindergarten to Grade 8 and a range of parent programs available, the program compliments a comprehensive school approach. The School Health program offers train-the-trainer for school staff to become familiar with the Psychology Foundation’s programs. Click here for more information.
  • iTHINK – A Critical Thinking & Media Literacy Manual (PDF) – Suggested for Grades 1 to 8. This manual contains a variety of teaching tools to engage students to think critically about the world around them in order to support healthy decision-making, and mitigate the influence of media marketing related to a number of health topics.  The manual contains grade specific lesson plans which have been designed to meet Ontario curriculum expectations (e.g. Arts, Language, and Health and Physical Education). Interactive resources, such as video clips, quizzes, case studies, are also included to support classroom teaching and student learning. (Developed by Central East Tobacco Control Area Network (TCAN) and Peterborough County City Health Unit
  • Triple P – The Triple P Positive Parenting Program is an effective parenting program that helps parents with small changes that can make a big difference. Educators can utilize this information to guide parents to Triple P for strategies to deal with bedtime problems, coping with anxiety, homework and chores. Triple P can help parents work together with their children to improve behaviour over time. Triple P programs are available in Simcoe Muskoka and other communities across Ontario. For more information contact Health Connection at 705 721-7520 or toll-free at 1-877-721-7520 or go to the Triple P Website. Parent education can complement the work done by educators on mental health promotion.
  • Psychology Foundation’s Kids Have Stress Too!® Parent Program:  workshops providing parents and caregivers an opportunity to learn about stress in children, their reactions to stress and build skills to support their children to cope with stressful experiences. A range of parent workshops are delivered by School Health public health nurses within school settings. Parent education can complement the work done by educators on mental health promotion.
  • Healthy Playground Activity Leaders in School – Healthy P.A.L.S. is a playground leadership program, for elementary schools, that encourages all children to participate in activities regardless of their gender, size, or ability. Dedicated school staff are trained to supervise the program while junior and intermediate students are trained to act as playground activity Student Leaders for younger students. The Healthy P.A.L.S. leaders plan and lead fun and safe activities on the playground during nutrition breaks. The Healthy P.A.L.S. program helps to:
    • Decrease conflict and reduce the incidence of playground bullying
    • Provide a leadership opportunity for students
    • Increase physical activity among students.
  • For more information contact Health Connection at 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520.
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