Over the past few weeks, the world has felt for the people of Afghanistan as the country grapples with the crisis that is unfolding.
Our hearts and thoughts are with our students, families and staff right here in Canada and within our TDSB community, who are directly impacted by this devastation. These events are highlighting just how serious things are for those living in Afghanistan and being thousands of miles away from family and friends can give way to feelings of hopelessness and constant worry. Please know that the TDSB community is here to support you as best we can and we stand with you during this difficult time.
For those who are experiencing challenges and would like to speak to someone, there are supports available both inside and outside of the TDSB.
Professional Support Services staff are available to support students and can be arranged through students’ classroom teachers. Students may also contact the Kids Help Phone at 1-800-668-6868.
A list of culturally relevant mental health supports which directly and indirectly support the Afghan community, can be found here as well as resources for newcomers.
Staff who are in need of support are encouraged to reach out to colleagues or contact the Employee and Family Assistance Program.
We also encourage community/families/educators to consider how stories of brilliance and resilience from Afghan youth can be highlighted and embedded into conversations/curriculum rather than focusing solely on stories of pain and trauma. Consider first person resources that centre first person Afghan voices.
The Building Critically Conscious and Equitable Toolkits and Video Vignettes can be found on the Equity, Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression external website, while TDSB staff can visit the internal website for more information on supporting community/families/staff in this work.