Dear WRDSB community,

As a district, one of our core priorities is to address mental health and well-being.

Through many platforms and interactions, many of you have shared your concerns about the mental health and well-being for your children. Some of you have disclosed that you, yourself may be in need of support, or know someone who is struggling, and feel unsure what to do to get help.

First of all, I want you to know that you are not alone. As a school board, we are committed to supporting positive student and staff mental health and wellness.

Through our Strategic Plan and Board Improvement and Equity Plan we’ve made student and staff mental health and well-being top priorities, with measurable goals to which we will hold ourselves accountable. We have a team of 28 highly-skilled social workers, as well as 19 psychological services staff, who work together with students, staff and families to address mental health concerns and connect you to appropriate resources and services in the community.

Sharing My Story about Mental Health

While it’s still a few weeks away, Mental Health Week is coming up on May 1-7. The theme this year, “My Story”, invites people to share their own stories to shine a light on their personal journeys. I’ve shared parts of my own journey with my mental health and well-being with some of you. It’s something that I continue to work on as a part of my well-being. I know how hard it can be to admit when we are struggling, and ask for help. Sometimes finding the help we need can be difficult.

There should not be any stigma around this. But the truth is – there is. To do my part and help break the stigma, I wanted to share some snapshots from my own story with you, and share some of the ways that I’ve been able to support my own wellness.

I know we all have our own stories and our own journeys when it comes to mental health. If you would like to share your own message about mental health and the ways you support your own wellness, you can participate in Mental Health Week using the hashtag #MyStory, #MentalHealthWeek and #WRDSB.

jeewan chanicka signature

jeewan chanicka,
Director of Education, WRDSB

If You Need Support

You are not alone. If you need support, please reach out to your doctor, family member or a trusted adult. As a WRDSB student or family member, you can find a variety of mental health and well-being resources on the Mental Health section of our website.

Immediate Help

Here 24/7 connects you to the addictions, mental health, and crisis services provided by 11 agencies across Waterloo Wellington. They do the intake, assessment, referral, crisis, waitlist and appointment booking work for these important programs. In Crisis or Need Support? Call 1-844-HERE247 (1-844-437-3247) anytime.

Front Door works with parents/caregivers, children and youth (up to their 18th birthday) who are struggling with life’s challenges such as emotions, behaviours, relationships and mental health.

Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only 24/7 e-mental health service offering free, confidential support to kids, teens and young adults in English and French. Start a confidential conversation with a real person you can trust by calling 1-800-668-6868 or texting 686868.

If your matter is urgent, please call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency department.