The Upper Canada District School Board (UCDSB) is urging students to be empathetic to their peers’ mental health struggles.
The board is commemorating Canadian Mental Health Week, a national initiative meant to raise awareness of the role mental health plays in our day-to-day lives.
Dr. Jennifer Curry, the UCDSB’s Chief Psychologist, says the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lingering impact on the mindset of students.
“Empathy may be the unseen benefit of the pandemic,” she says. “Whatever our circumstances, everyone has experienced pain, uncertainty, and loss over the past two years. This of course also includes the learning environment for students.”
April Scott-Clarke, the board’s Manager of Communications, says students at UCDSB schools are participating in a number of activities this week to learn more about how to relate to people struggling with their mental health.
The activities were designed by School Mental Health Ontario, a provincial organization that has worked on initiatives like these since 2011.
If your child has been dealing with mental health struggles, the UCDSB’s website has a breakdown of services it offers to help them. The board also recommends struggling students reach out to the Kids Help Phone.