There are many ways that the LKDSB is promoting mental health & well-being for our staff and students, here are just a few.
Interested to know how the Lambton Kent District School Board supports mental health and well-being? Check out this pamphlet for more information: LKDSB handout.pdf
How Schools (including yours!) Can Engage Students to Promote Well-being
Student engagement is imperative for learning - and well-being! But how do we do it? Engaging young people is challenging but worthwhile and can be done so many ways. These are just a few of our schools who have created opportunities for student engagement through: the spaces studentsaccess, the content they hear about, and the culture of the school.
INTERVENTION FOR THOSE IN NEED
Despite our best efforts, a small percentage of students will experience mental illnesses such as mood or anxiety disorders. Most people are able to recover from these illnesses and go on to live productive, successful and healthy lives.
Our Psychoeducational Clinicians provide educational opportunities, consultation, and counselling support to help students in need. They also provide crisis response and support after a tragedy.
Our Clinicians do not work in isolation, they work directly with LKDSB Staff, students, and community organizations who have even greater capacity to support students in need.
Early intervention is important in preventing, supporting, and bolstering students with mental health problems. Teaching students to understand and develop protective skills is one way that the LKDSB helps to prevent further challenges. This could include:
- Providing academic accommodations and modifications
- Teaching character building and social emotional skills
- Evidence-informed programming provided directly in the classroom
- Providing focused support and staff training for at risk populations
Below is the AIM Model describing how we support the mental health needs of students:
AMSS takes student engagement seriously, but it doesn't always have to be serious! Students have a range of options for spaces where they can do academic work, connect directly with staff, or spend time with peers. The choice is theirs and the ability to decide what works best for them and their academic needs creates an easy win for engaging with students. This is a great example of our Student Engagement Model in action!
Provide Relevant Content
According to our Speak Up! Survey of over 8000 students, we heard that students wanted more information about mental health and well-being. So, for 3 years now, the Let's Face It Team at Lambton College has been developing and implementing a pilot project for supporting grade 12 students at LKDSB through the transition out of secondary school. For some students, it feels like the first time they can talk about their stressors openly and hear from current post-secondary students about their own experiences in school.
Trained peer facilitators from the Let's Face It Team go into grade 12 classes 3 times over the course of the school year and engage students in an interactive discussion about how they can keep themselves mentally fit. By sharing experiences of loss and success, the healthy coping strategies they use, and the importance of connecting with others, Let's Face It encourages students to activate their own resiliency and promote understanding of their own mental health.
Involve them in Creating a Positive School Culture
My LKDSB is a recent project that is empowering students to have a voice at their school and supporting adult allies to foster success. School teams made up of administrators, educators, and students are learning and taking action with the power of student voice by developing an initiative to meet the unique needs or desires of the students at their school.
The MyLKDSB Project at each secondary school are tackling tough initiatives before the end of this school year. These range from creating a complete list of services for students at Chatham Kent Secondary School to whole school yoga and mindfulness practices at Great Lakes Secondary School!
So what do the students and young people in your life have to say?
Across the District
Promoting mental health is a whole school concept. Not only does promoting well-being help boost achievement, it can change how students, staff, and the community feel about a school and themselves. These shining examples from LKDSB are big undertakings but awareness and skill-building doesn't have to be. Check out how some schools are spreading the word about mentally healthy living!
Here is the link for School Mental Health Assist: https://smh-assist.ca/
And here is the link for the Everyday Mental Health in the Classroom Resource: https://smh-assist.ca/emhc/