We all have Mental Health, just as we all have physical health and dental health. Mental health is one component of overall health.
“The well-being of children is inseparable from the well-being of all the critical adults in their lives.” (Dr. Stuart Shanker)
The World Health Organization defines Mental Health as “a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and, and is fruitfully able to make a contribution to his or her community.”
Mental Illness is characterized by alterations in thinking, mood or behaviour associated with significant distress and impaired functioning. Examples are anxiety disorders, mood disorders, eating disorders, etc. (Public Health Agency of Canada)
One in five people suffers from a mental health problem (Supporting Minds, 2013).
Over the years Avon Maitland Students have taken their own initiative to speak up and promote inclusivity. At Stratford Northwestern Secondary School a mural dedicated to mental health and bullying awareness was painted in the north hallway. This art piece was created by former student Darryl Couchman, who wanted to bring to light people’s differences and aim to promote acceptance for all.
“There is a clear relationship between student mental health difficulties and academic achievement. AMDSB plays an important role in supporting mental health and wellness for our students. At our Board we promote mental well-being through everyday mental health practices, build student socio-emotional learning skills, and have various prevention supports for students at risk. We offer mental health and addictions professional development, try and identify students struggling with mental health issues, and refer students in need to our internal support staff and/or to our community mental health service partners. A key component to student well-being, though, is the caring educators and their genuine connection to students. This is why the well-being of our staff is also very important.”
-Dr. Anne Robinson, AMDSB Mental Health Lead.