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MindUP Preventative Mental Health Program Producing Positive Results

For six years at St. Clair Catholic, the MindUP program has been helping to equip students, educators and families with mental health fitness tools that build emotional resilience to face challenges with optimism, strength and compassion.  Trustees received report on the program at tonight’s Board meeting.

MindUP is a 15-lesson curriculum based in neuroscience and positive psychology, that teaches students in Grades K-8 effective social emotional learning skills and applied knowledge they need for daily living and adulthood. Some of these skills are self-regulation, self-awareness, positive coping strategies, stress management, enhanced learning skills and improved academic performance.

In 2023, approximately 5,126 elementary students in 233 classes completed the program with promising results:

  • Before the program, 55 percent of students reported having little understanding of the link between gratitude and mental wellbeing, which improved to 82 percent after the program;
  • Before the program 68 percent of students reported having little understanding of how to calm themselves down, which improved to 87 percent after the program;
  • Before the program, 46 percent of students reported practicing daily skills for wellbeing, which improved to 69 percent after the program.

“Since 2018 there has been a notable increase in knowledge and behaviour among students as it relates to Mind Up,” says Lisa Demers, Superintendent of Education.  “It is evident that the yearly consistent teachings of this program have resulted in an increase in their understanding about positive mental health, their brain and the importance of practicing daily strategies.”

(Pictured L-R) Lisa Demers, Superintendent of Education; Amanda McQuarrie and Kristyn Munroe, Child and Youth Workers, Student Support and Wellbeing Team members; and Christine Preece, Manager of Student Mental Health Services

“I want to say a special word of thanks to the members of our Mental Health and Wellbeing Team for their tremendous work with this program,” says Scott Johnson, Director of Education.  “Through their work with MindUP, they are leading our students to develop life skills and knowledge that they will carry with them into adulthood.”

A MindUP pilot is now planned for the Board’s two secondary schools.  St. Clair Catholic is the first site in North America to pilot test the curriculum in high school.