Student mental health and well-being is an important part of student success and a priority at the TDSB.
Mental health impacts us all. Just as we all have physical health, we all have mental health. Our mental well-being includes our emotions, our thoughts and feelings, our ability to solve problems and overcome difficulties, our social connections, and our understanding of the world around us.
At school, feeling safe, engaged and included all contribute to having a positive sense of well-being. Students need our collective support to be healthy individuals and, the relationship that students have with each other and adults is an important part of that.
At the TDSB, we strive to develop optimism, self-confidence, resilience and a sense of belonging in our students. We need to promote positive mental health, safe and caring schools, healthy schools that understand the importance of physical health, nutrition, physical activity, and inclusive schools that are responsive to all as we celebrate the diversity in our communities.
Schools support mental health and well-being in different ways. It may be practicing yoga, doing daily mindful practices or encouraging kindness.
Children and youth can suffer from all of the same challenges that confront adults – anxiety, depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, substance abuse, and more. Research consistently indicates that 1 in 5 children experience mental well-being issues. This statistic translates into approximately 40,000 students in the TDSB. For students who need additional support, there are many resources available.
The first step is connecting with your child’s teacher or principal. They are a well-positioned partner who can share what they notice during the time your child is at school. If necessary, they can then connect you to the Professional Support Services team, including:
School social workers and attendance counsellors help children, families, teachers and administrators to maximize a child's educational experience. When students experience undue stress, they often have trouble in school and social workers work to help them overcome stress and other barriers to learning.
Providing a safe, nurturing environment where every student feels valued is critical. According to a Canadian Mental Health Association study, students who have a high sense of belonging, who really feel attached to their school or an adult, report less substance abuse, fewer incidents of bullying and victimization, better school attendance and stronger academic performance.
As part of a team, Child & Youth Workers and Child & Youth Counsellors play an important role in helping students acquire and build the communication, self-management, academic, and social skills that lead to success.
With specialized training in child development and learning, Psychological Services staff work as members of school teams to help parents, teachers, staff and administrators address student needs. We support students’ learning, behavioural, social and emotional well-being and collaborate with parents and school staff to help them understand what students need to be successful.
As people devoted to the well-being of ALL of students, TDSB staff know that relationships are critical; one caring and strong adult in a child’s life can make a tremendous difference.