Mental Health Supports and Resources for Secondary Students
While our schools are closed, it’s important that we remain focused on supporting our health and well-being. During this time of uncertainty and physical distancing, it’s important for us all to take time for self-care, and supporting our physical and mental health.
Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) staff are working closely with public health officials and the Ministry of Education to ensure the safety of all our students while maintaining academic standards as best as possible given the constraints.
The Ontario government announced the launch of a new online platform entitled, “Learn at Home” (secondary courses) for students amid the COVID-19 outbreak. The WRDSB also recently launched WRDSB@Home, to offer service outside the classroom to support our students’ academic growth.
We recognize that these are stressful times for our students. We are inviting students and families to review the resources below to support their well-being. If you are worried about your own or a friend’s well-being or mental health, please reach out to one of the resources below and connect with a trusted adult for support. I need help now from Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council.
Here24/7 is your front door to the addictions, mental health, and crisis services provided by 11 agencies across Waterloo-Wellington. All you need to do is reach out. They’ll work together with you to understand what you need and work to get you connected. Here24/7 does the intake, assessment, and referrals for most local government-funded addictions and mental health services. If you need a service outside what Here 24/7 can offer, they’ll do their best to link you directly.
Jack.org is a newly created national youth website for young Canadians addressing the impact of COVID-19. The site brings together resources and self-help information through an innovative partnership between jack.org, SMH-ON and the Kids Help-Phone. Visit the site at www.jack.org/covid.
Kids Help Phone
Kids Help Phone: 24/7 national support service offering crisis counselling support through phone 1-800-668-6868, text 686868, or online chat at www.kidshelpphone.ca.
School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO)
SMHO works together with Ontario school districts to support student mental health. SMHO has a youth group called THRIVE, which includes the participation of one of our very own WRDSB students. THRIVE has created several resources in the past year to attend to student mental health issues. They also have developed this webpage in response to student mental health and COVID-19.
The SMHO website also has a section dedicated to general student mental health needs and outlines your role as a student in creating positive mental health in your school community, and outlines how to take action and use resources to help with this as well as taking care of your own mental health. There is a resource on how to reach out for help as well as how to respond to a friend who may be struggling with mental health issues.
Waterloo Region Suicide Prevention Council (WRSPC)
Maintaining Mental Wellness During COVID-19
While we all play our part to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and keep our population physically healthy, the measures we are taking such as physical distancing, self-quarantine, and self-isolation may lead to new or heightened mental health concerns such as loneliness, anxiety, or depression. In a time where we are adjusting to new circumstances such as working from home, having our children home from school, and being unable to participate in group activities or team sports, it is important to be intentional and mindful about caring for your own wellness.
Youth at Risk Toolkit
A Suicide Prevention Toolkit for YOUTH, developed by the Centre for Suicide Prevention. This toolkits describes the myths and facts on suicide prevention and gives ideas on how to ask for help if you are a youth and struggling with thoughts of suicide. It also provides ideas on how to help a friend who might be struggling. Resources to support youth who lost someone from suicide are also included.
These resources are selected as being potentially helpful to children and youth who want to learn more about well-being, and positive mental health.
Mindyourmind exists in the space where mental health, wellness, engagement and technology meet. We work with community partners and young people aged 14 to 29 to co-create interactive tools and innovative resources to build capacity and resilience.
Teenmentalhealth.org is designed to help improve the mental health of youth using the best scientific evidence available to enhance the understanding of adolescent mental health.
WRDSB is a registered user with My Health Magazine. Create an account and enter the student code “WRDSB” to access health and wellness programs delivered through a series of interactive, online resources designed for young people.
Region of Waterloo Public Health
The Region of Waterloo provides many services that may be helpful to youth and students, such as reduced bus fare and health-related matters.
The Little Black Book
The Little Black Book was developed by and last updated in 2014 by the City of Kitchener Youth Services. It’s not meant to tell you what to do, just to let you know about some options in this community. The list on the first page will give you an idea of the kind of info you can find in The Little Black Book. Check it out and use it! Almost all of the services are free. Just call the number given. If you don’t want to call yourself, ask a friend or an adult to call for you.
Beautiful Minds Student Handbook
Beautiful Minds is based on the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health program “Talking About Mental Illness” (TAMI) – an awareness program proven to be effective in bringing about positive change in people’s knowledge about mental health, and in reducing stigma that surrounds mental health issues.
The Be Safe app helps you make decisions in a crisis such as safety plans, and options for getting help in Waterloo Region.
isearchmycommunity.ca is a one-stop-shop for information on a wide range of community services including basic needs, crisis, legal, education, health, immigration, recreation, individual/family support, youth, seniors, childcare, and much more! The information is available to the public and professionals at no cost.
Exercises for Emotion Regulation
Exercises for Emotion Regulation is an excellent resource on learning to monitor and regulate emotions and breathing, with structured exercises to practice.
Remembering is a tricky business. We can remember some things easily yet cannot seem to remember other things. We remember some things throughout our lives, while others things seem to come in one door in our mind and go out the other. There is no “magic pill” for remembering. But here are some tips that can help.