Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) recently created mental health champions – which began in September and saw an educator at each school come forward to support the new initiative.
A mental health champion is someone who takes action to raise awareness of mental health and challenge stigma. They will work with students at the school level to promote positive mental health practices, encourage open and honest conversations about understanding mental health, as well as share strategies for well-being.
“Student achievement and mental health go hand-in-hand and we play a role in supporting student mental well-being. There are everyday practices that can be used in all classrooms to support and promote wellness,” shared Tanya Fraser, acting associate superintendent of learning who is responsible for Mental Health Services.
The goals of the mental health champions are to:
- Build their own mental health literacy
- Become aware of strategies and supports
- Grow their knowledge and confidence to take action in support of student mental health
On November 22, the group of educators came together for the first time at the Muskoka Education Centre to meet with the TLDSB Mental Health Team. They spent the day understanding the role in supporting student mental health, as well as sharing, reflecting, and building knowledge and strategies for the classroom.
“Today was a great day of learning and conversation with educators from across TLDSB who have put themselves forward to be a mental health champion at their school,” said Fraser. “Educators are growing in their knowledge and confidence to take action and support student mental health. We are normalizing mental health conversations, reducing stigma, and building our mental health knowledge.”