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Better mental health supports for students in SD42

Maple Ridge News - 12/18/2019

Students in the district will have better mental health supports thanks to a grant by the provincial government.

The funding – $8.87 million, to be invested over the next three years in all 60 provincial school districts, including independent schools – was announced at the beginning of September.

However, SD42 has recently released where its portion of the funding, $26,500, will be invested.

It will go towards: training teachers on mental health literacy; student-led mental health initiatives; training administrators on leadership and mental health; Mind-Up training at three elementary schools; sexual health curriculum development; and restorative practice training.

"Students need a safe place to say, 'I'm not OK', whether they're struggling with anxiety or depression or any mental health issue," said Judy Darcy, minister of Mental Health and Addictions, at the time of the announcement.

"This investment will help provide students, parents and educators with the tools they need to support mental well-being for students across B.C. for years to come."

Funding will be used to provide better mental health support for all children and for those with substance-use challenges.

Grants will also be used for different programs and supports, and the professional development of educators to help teachers and school districts develop a co-ordinated and consistent approach to mental health in schools throughout the province.

In addition, funding will go to support the third annual 2020 School Community Mental Health Conference that brings together approximately 500 representatives from across B.C. of the public, independent and First Nations schools, police, health authorities, and child and youth mental health workers, who are focused on improving mental health and addictions services for all B.C. students.