The Children’s Mental Health Program is an exciting initiative delivered in elementary schools by Lindsay Goulet, Community Development Manager or EJ Weston, School Presenter. The Program has been developed in consultation with Sue MacTavish, previously the Youth & Family Counselor, École George Jay Elementary and currently working as the Family Outreach Coordinator at the Quadrea Village Community Centre. Our children’s program is offered by the reputable Stigma-Free Society ONLY in Victoria, BC at this time.
One in seven children will experience a mental illness at some point during their childhood in British Columbia (Here to Help, 2014). Through this impacting program, students will become more aware of their emotions so they better understand when to ask for help. Children in grades 4-7 are blossoming with inquiring minds; forming ideas about their mental health, well-being, and self-esteem.
Many children still believe that mental illness is about being weak. Children understand when someone is physically sick that they need help. It is time to start talking about mental health in the same manner and help them understand the importance of mental health versus mental illness and how to seek help and support for either.
The purpose of the Children’s Mental Health Program is to provide school children, grades 4-7, with resiliency through the awareness of their mental health, the importance of a healthy lifestyle and learning the value in reaching out for help. Our program encourages children to strive for optimal mental wellness and empowers them to learn the tools they need to stay mentally well. Participants will also develop accepting and understanding attitudes towards themselves and others through this program. We also touch on helping the students understand the difference between mental health and mental illness – an area that can be quite confusing. For example, one can have a bad day (i.e. have a bad mental health day) and not be “depressed”. Helping students understand the language around mental health and mental illness is incredibly important as this topic is being discussed more openly now more than ever.
By exploring the connections between physical health, mental health, emotional wellness and social well-being, our program aims to help children understand the importance of balance in daily life.
Why Host a Children’s Mental Health Presentation?
When children are equipped to understand their own needs, they become increasingly confident when faced with an issue. They are also able to reach out for help when they need it most. By focusing on prevention through education and awareness, we can develop a more supportive community in schools. Mental health and well-being is for everyone, and through this program, children acquire the skills to maintain positive mental wellness.
Please note: This Children’s Mental Health Program is now open for bookings with Lindsay Goulet and EJ Weston for 2019/20 in Victoria, B.C. only. A special thanks to the Edith Lando Foundation for making our program available. We hope to expand this program in the future as it is in great demand.