Mental Health Resources for Staff
What are child and youth mental health problems?
Children and youth can experience mental health problems that range from mild to serious. For instance, some students in your class may have a little anxiety when they are facing a test, while others may be very anxious about the same test. When a problem lasts more than a few weeks, and interferes with the student’s daily life, then it becomes a concern that requires further help. We all have a role to play in helping our students. We must stand up for them.
Take time to:
- observe change in behaviour that cause concern
- document the frequency, duration, and intensity of the behaviours that are causing concern
- share these observations with others (teaching partner, ISSP, school success, contact, guidance counsellor, administrator) who can help you develop a plan to understand and manage the behaviours – a team approach also includes parents/guardians
Sometimes this will be all you need. Together, you will develop an understanding of the challenges that a student is experiencing and strategies will be developed to support the student to cope. In other instances, you may need to take further action.
- The school team may decide that it would be helpful to seek the support of the In-School Resource Committee (ISRC).
- The ISRC is comprised of the in school team as well as a special education resource teacher, social worker, speech and language pathologist and psycho-educational consultant.
- Each school has their own process for referral to the ISRC. Your administrator or ISSP will guide you.
- With parent permission, the student’s strengths and challenges are discussed along with the strategies that have been implemented to date.
- Recommendations will be made by the ISRC members, which may include a referral to one of the PSSP members, case conference, teaching strategies and/or referral to a community partner.
- Recommendations are followed up on, observation and documentation of the frequency, duration and intensity of the concerns.
- The ISRC welcomes return visits for further support if needed.
The following websites may be helpful as you search out strategies and information to support student well-being:
Ministry of Education - Supporting Healthy Minds - An Educator's Guide to Promoting Students' Mental Health and Well-Being Community Information Partners Peel
The ABCs of mental health
Teen Mental Health
Kids Help Phone
Ontario Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health
Children's Mental Health Ontario