Upcoming opportunities to discuss mental health in SD62 schools

Ongoing emotional well-being of students up for discussion in Langford next week

Problems in mental health are certainly widely discussed these days, but is enough action happening to address the issue in our school systems?

Cindy Andrew, chair of the Healthy Schools Committee of the Sooke Parents’ Education Advisory Council (SPEAC), says there are two opportunities coming up for the public to engage in that discussion.

“It’s really about helping bring the conversation upstream as well, to say, ‘what can we be doing to help promote resiliency in our kids? How can we increase their ability to ride the ups and downs of life and manage their emotions and all the stuff coming at them as part and parcel of good mental health?’ We know if you can lay a good foundation, you quite likely will reduce the number of mental illnesses we’re seeing.”

The first of these mental health forums will take place next Thursday, May 7, at Spencer middle school on Goldstream Avenue in Langford, from 7 to 9 p.m.

Mental health, Andrew says, is more about emotional well-being than about illness. It’s about the friendly bus driver who picks the kids up at the curb and the crossing guard who laughs and jokes with them as the cross to the school. It’s about kids having positive, healthy relationships with the adults in their lives – and school is a big part of their lives.

“The meeting will be focused specifically on parents or other members of a child’s community as a way to support them and give them some fundamentals, but also to learn a little bit about the various resources that are available within their community.”

There is also a Capital Region-wide meeting being held May 27, which will bring together members of all four school districts in the region to look at addressing the problem systemically, Andrew says.

“The school as a setting for health promotion, including mental health promotion, makes good sense,” Andrew says. “So what’s required? Well, it’s not just the school’s problem, it’s that whole ‘takes a village to raise a child,’ cliché. A good place to start is to bring people together who can make a difference.”

Andrew thinks schools have long felt under pressure to address social ills, “I’m not for a single second suggesting that schools do it all, but that’s a place where kids gather for long periods in their lives and there’s an opportunity there. So, how do we do that?”

That’s the point of the regional meeting on May 27 – to find ways to systemically address mental health in our region’s schools without placing the burden of that on the schools themselves.

For more information on either of these two events, or to register, contact Andrew at cindypandrew@gmail.com or go to sd62.bc.ca and look for the links to the event pages under the SPEAC section.

mdavies@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

‘More animals could have a chance:’ Victoria Humane Society in desperate need of a home

Animal rescue currently has 163 animals in foster and volunteer homes

Free-B Film Festival celebrates 20th anniversary

Head to Victoria’s Beacon Hill Park to see some family favourites on the big screen

Central Saanich accused of not following Climate Emergency declaration with urgent action

Motion to research climate response options and costs rejected then rescheduled in tense meeting

Join North Saanich invasives removal and experience three key benefits

Friends of North Saanich Parks says July 27 clear-up will be rewarding as well as green

Colwood field lacrosse camp aims to get more kids involved

Victoria Field Youth Lacrosse hopes to inspire future athletes

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Vancouver Island teens missing after vehicle found ablaze near Dease Lake, BC

RCMP say a body discovered nearby not one of the missing teens

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Most Read