Mental Health a Priority at the OCDSB
Mental health has been a priority for the
Ottawa-Carleton District School Board for many years. A variety of programs
dealing with mental health have been taught in our schools. These programs
include the curriculum centered topics, or programs like Friends, Best Buddies,
ASIST, SafeTALK, addictions and counseling to name a few. The district also has
specialized staff trained to deal with issues of gender, safety, suicide
prevention, grief and family matters. Psychologists, Social Workers, Guidance
Counselors and Child and Youth workers support the needs of our students, along
with their teachers and principals.
Since 2008, our district has had a mental health
framework which deals with promotion, prevention, early intervention and crisis
prevention. Staff continues to be trained on suicide prevention using ASIST and
SafeTALK training and many other issues like resilience, anxiety and psychosis
throughout the year.
The OCDSB has two formal protocols in place to liaise
quickly with community partners when a student is experiencing a mental health
crisis. The OCDSB also has many external partnership agreements with
community agencies to augment mental health supports for students.
As part of our strategic plan, a new mental health
framework has been developed to assist all partners, students,
parents, staff and community in understanding how our district will address
mental health. Learn more by reading: Toward
an Ottawa-Carleton District School Board Mental Health Framework
This website has a variety of resources, as do our
schools to assist parents and students. While our district informs
regarding these websites, articles and opportunities, there is no endorsement
of a particular program or service. The website is regularly updated to reflect
the information that staff feel would be of most support to our families.
Ontario 211 is a free, confidential and easy-to-use
website and hotline that connects Ontarians with reliable information on local
community and social services in more than 150 languages. By dialling 2-1-1,
callers reach a certified information and referral specialist who provides
accurate information to help connect people to services and a wide variety of
local support programs.
- Improving Mental Health Services for Children and Youth
www.crossroadschildren.ca - The Crossroads Children's
Centre works with children and their families struggling with severe emotional,
behavioural, and social difficulties. This is accomplished through a wide
range of services and targets children up to the age of twelve.
- The Youth Services Bureau of Ottawa serves youth aged 12 and older.
They focus on youth with difficulties affecting their physical and/or emotional
well-being and development, and support youth in making positive health and
lifestyle decisions. They offer programs and services in the areas of
mental health, employment, youth justice, housing and more.
- Youth Net/Reseau Ado Ottawa is a bilingual regional mental health promotion
and intervention program run by youth, for youth (based on CHEO). One of
their main objectives is to help youth develop healthy coping strategies for
stress, which they do through various recreational activities described on the
- This is the website of the Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and
Youth Mental Health at CHEO. Among other resources, the Centre is piloting Med
Ed, an innovative, youth friendly resource that contains information about
medicines used in the treatment of mental disorders. This tool was created to
help youth and their caregivers exchange information about medication so they
can make informed decisions about treatment.
- Hosted by the Centre of Excellence, this is an interactive health and mental
health literacy program for youth, parents and teachers. It gives youth
reliable information in a variety of formats while providing schools with
timely information about students' health and mental health needs. Users
must create an account.
- An easy to navigate directory of hundreds of services and resources in the
Ottawa area (services in other geographic areas are also accessible. Also
features an extensive mental health library.
www.systemofcareottawa.ca - The Child and Youth Mental
Health Network site is dedicated to finding ways to enhance and transform the
Children's Mental Health System in the Ottawa region using a System of Care
- The Child and Youth Mental Heath Information Network works collaboratively to
produce and disseminate high-quality, evidence based information about child
and youth mental health problems that informs and educates young people, their
families, mental health professionals, etc.
-The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health site offers extensive resources,
including many specifically for teachers and schools. Parent and family
resource materials are also available. There are online tutorials and
listings of other professional development opportunities.
- The Canadian Mental Health Association, Ontario develops and provides public
policy advice that promotes mental health and improves the lives of people
living with mental illness. The site includes an extensive set of fact
sheets, including some specific to children, youth and parenting.
www.kidsmentalhealth.ca - This is the Children's Mental
Health Ontario site. They represent and support the providers of child
and youth mental health treatment services throughout Ontario. The
"Resources" section includes some tools for teachers and parents.
www.safehealthyschools.org - A gateway to information
on comprehensive school health and health promoting schools. Provides
links to research, reports, how-to manuals, planning& assessment tools,
lesson plans etc.
- Mindyourmind is a non-profit mental health engagement program that works with
youth, emerging adults and the professionals who serve them to develop reliable
and relevant resources and communication platforms to reduce the stigma
associated with mental illness and increase access and use of community
support. mindyourmind inspires youth to reach out, get help and give
www.mentalhealthcommission.ca - The Mental Health
Commission of Canada is a non-profit organization created to focus national
attention on mental health issues and to work to improve the health and social
outcomes of people living with mental illness. The MHCC recently launched
a major Anti-stigma / Anti-discrimination campaign to reduce the stigma of
mental health in Canada.
www.schoolpsychiatry.org - Part of the Massachusetts
General Hospital website, this site was created for - and by- parents,
educators, and clinicians working together to support children and teens with
mental health conditions. It offers specific resources for young people
with depression bipolar disorder, attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder,
autism spectrum disorders, and anxiety disorders, including panic disorder and
- A program in the Department of Psychiatry at the non profit Massachusetts
General Hospital that trains adults in a new way of helping kids with social,
emotional and behavioural challenges. Includes an orientation to the
Collaborative Problem Solving approach for educators.
www.thejackproject.org - The
Jack Project at Kids Help Phone promotes young people’s mental health by
providing them with much-needed information and support as they move from
late-high school into college, university, or independent living. We also equip
key adults – parents, family members, and educators – with the knowledge they
need to support the young people in their lives.
www.teenmentalhealth.org/ - Teenmentalhealth.org is a project of the
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, a partnership between Sun
Life Financial, Dalhousie University and IWK Health Centre. The site seeks
to advance the understanding of mental illness and to improve the lives of
young people with mental disorders.
http://org.kidshelpphone.ca/en/choose/ontario/ottawa - From trouble with homework to dealing with
loss and grief to thoughts of suicide, kids can talk to Kids Help Phone about
anything. Professional counsellors provide anonymous, confidential and
-The Coalition for Children and Youth Mental Health unites education, mental
health, community and health sectors in a movement to promote the priority of
social and emotional well-being as a part of healthy child development in
Ontario and to make it a priority that drives integrated public policy in the
http://www.crossroadschildren.ca/clinic.php - Mental
Health Walk-in Clinic. The Walk-in Clinic at Crossroads helps families to get
started on the road to understanding. Do you have
Your child’s behaviour, your child’s emotional state, your child’s
mental health diagnosis (e.g. anxiety, depression, ADHD), school-related
issues, your child’s struggles with peers, a family conflict, or other parenting
issues? Through a single counselling session, our experienced, professional
staff help identify issues and equip families with tools and strategies to
address their concerns. The focus of the session is determined by each family’s
for Parents - Responding to a Traumatic Event
A Free Mental Health Information Evening for Parents
of chidlren 10 to 17 years. - A public health nurse will provide
information about healthy adolescent development, warning signs of mental
health problems and give practical advice to parents around communication, role
modeling and resolving conflicts. Centre Psychosocial and Youth Services Bureau
will present information on mental health and their services.
"Open Minds, Healthy Minds" - Ontario's
Comprehensive Mental Health and Addictions Strategy - is our plan to support
mental health throughout life, from childhood to old age, and to provide the
integrated services and supports that Ontarioans need if they experience a
mental illnes or addictions.
Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me - VALIDITY
team, CAMH, (2005), Hear Me, Understand Me, Support Me: What young women want
you to know about depression. Toronto: Centre for Addiction and Mental Health
User guide that may be helpful in
Summary of the School-Based
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium and its work
Invitation to get involved in
future School-Based Mental Health & Substance Abuse Consortium
The Royal Youth-video
Anxiety Pamphlet - What causes anxiety? How long do
Tips for Parents - Anxiety Disorder Association of BC
provides useful tips for parents to help your anxious child
Tips for Teachers - Anxiety Disorder Association of BC
provides useful tips for teachers to help anxious students
My Health Magazine: Health Literacy Program for
Students, Educators, Parents, and Allied Health Professionals
The Health of Canadian's Young People -
The Canadian HBSC report is part of the World Health Organization’s collaborative
cross-national study that we have been part of for more than 20 years. This
research greatly increases our understanding of young people’s health, but also
guides health education and health promotion policy and programs in Canada and
in the more than 40 countries participating in the study.