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Prioritizing Student Mental Health Literacy

SCCDSB’s Mental Health Strategy prioritizes student mental health literacy and promotion, as part of students’ everyday classroom and school experiences. Mental health, well-being and social emotional learning expectations are embedded throughout the K-12 curriculum including, but not limited to, Health and Physical Education. SCCDSB staff have received training and resources to support the integration of mental health literacy into everyday classroom experiences.  

As a first phase of the Ministry of Education’s and School Mental Health Ontario province-wide focus on mental health literacy for children and youth, a series of mental health literacy learning modules for grade 7 and 8 students has been released. These lessons spotlight the existing expectations within the Health and Physical Education curriculum and provide educators with tools for focused discussions.  

Modules will be delivered by classroom educators at your child’s school and will equip students with inclusive, culturally responsive, evidence-informed knowledge, skills, and strategies to support their mental health and well-being.  

Learning will include: 

  • The difference between mental health and mental illness 
  • Mental health, substance use and the relationship between them to support healthy choices 
  • Understanding the signs of a mental health problem and how to seek support 
  • Reducing stigma related to mental health 
  • Managing stress and developing healthy coping strategies 
  • How to help a friend: supporting others while caring for ourselves 

The modules align with our board Mental Health Strategy and were informed by extensive consultation with educators, parents/caregivers, students, cultural and community organizations. Families may wish to watch the introductory video for more information. 

There are important reasons to bring student mental health literacy into the classroom:  

  • Students want to learn more about mental health at school 
  • This learning helps students develop skills that support positive mental health 
  • Mental health learning supports learning in all other areas 
  • This learning can encourage conversations and help students in need reach support 
  • As caring adults in the lives of young people, we want students to be well!  

For more information on mental health and wellbeing, please visit our website