October 10th is World Mental Health Awareness Day
World Mental Health Awareness Day aims to create more awareness of mental health. Mental health conditions affect the lives of many around the world daily.
What is Mental Health?
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 altercations 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 suffer from a mental health problem (Supporting Minds, 2013).
At Avon Maitland District School Board we use a tiered approach to mental health and well-being.
There is a clear link between student mental health, well-being, and academic success (Leading Mentally Healthy Schools, 2013). Educators are well-positioned to support students’ mental health and well-being. Mental health promotion and prevention begins with creating an environment that promotes mental health and well-being. Developing caring relationships with students, building resilience, fostering emotional, social, and behavioural competence, engaging students in their school community, and involving parents, are the foundation of promotion and prevention. Below are more strategies to promote positive mental health for students from Supporting Minds: An Educator’s Guide to Promoting Students’ Mental Health and Well-Being (2013):
Exploration and use of the students’ strengths and capacities
- Creation of meaningful and positive learning environments
- Find ways to increase students’ sense of belonging to the school (for example, offer them to be classroom helpers, on school committees, join extracurricular activities)
- Heightened sensitivity to the needs of others and demonstration of pro-social behaviours
- Enhanced respect and appreciation for diversity and individual differences
- Enhancement of problem solving and positive coping skills, including ideas for managing stress
One – Moment Meditation
Video from http://onemomentcompany.com/
Educators are also in a place to notice the signs of students at risk of mental health problems, and to help students get the mental health professional help they need.
Information about Mental Health Problems can be found at:
Taking care of oneself is important for those who care for others. This is especially true for those in helping professions such as educators and support staff. Self-care is like the oxygen mask on an airplane. We need to place it on ourselves before we can help others. (School Mental Health Assist, 2016)
In addition, be aware of any potential hazards in your work. Ask for help when a hazard is beyond your control (AMDSB Health and Safety).
Mental Health Supports
For a list of supports in the area, check 211.
AMDSB’s Staff EAP (Moreau Shapell) phone number is 1-800-387-4765
For Emergency Mental Health Care please call:
Huron Perth Helpline and Crisis Response Team 1-888-829-7474