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Rainbow District School Board adopts Mental Health Strategic Plan
Rainbow District School Board adopted its first Mental Health Strategic Plan at the regular meeting on Tuesday, September 25, 2018. The plan, which was carried unanimously, will guide the Board’s work in this important area over the next three years. It aligns with the Board’s Strategic Directions, creating a learning environment where young people become strong, healthy and vibrant individuals, without discrimination.
“Mental health and well-being are fundamental to student achievement,” said Rainbow District School Board Chair Doreen Dewar. “We have made strides in increasing awareness, reducing the stigma, and building a supportive culture. The Mental Health Strategic Plan will ensure that we continue to be responsive and progressive.”
In presenting the plan, Mental Health Lead Mary Jago shared some startling statistics. As many as one in five children and youth in Ontario experience some form of mental health problem at any given time. Fewer than one in six receive the specialized treatment services they require. Suicide accounts for 24 per cent of all deaths among young people.
“According to Public Health Ontario, the impact of mental health, mental illness and addictions in Ontario on life expectancy, quality of life, and health care utilization is more than 1.5 times that of all cancers and more than seven times that of all infectious diseases,” she added. “We need to stem the tide by creating the organizational conditions required to successfully communicate and deliver evidence-based programs that promote resiliency and wellness.”
This will be achieved by embedding student mental health policy within the Board’s strategic planning; raising awareness to decrease stigma and increase the capacity to recognize the signs of mental health problems early and how to access the appropriate intervention; implement evidence informed promotion, prevention, and intervention mental health services to promote mentally healthy classrooms; and enhance supports for students who are experiencing distress or are in crisis.
To learn more about the Rainbow District School Board’s Mental Health Strategic Plan, visit rainbowschools.ca.
To access the document, click here the link below.
Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor,
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning,
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171 ext. 7217.