The brainstorming visual wall at the 2018 School and Community Mental Health Conference in Richmond. (BraniffMonica/Twitter)

Inaugural conference puts focus on B.C. students and their mental health

Education Minister Rob Flemming announces expansion for ERASE guide to include mental wellness

B.C. teachers, police and health workers joined forces under one roof this week looking at how schools can better resources for students battling with mental-health.

The inaugural two-day School Community Mental Health Conference in Richmond gathered more than 300 educators and experts May 10 and 11.

There, students shared personal anecdotes of how they navigate through their mental health, express their sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as what it’s like being in government care.

The focus of the conference was prevention and early intervention – and how it can start in the classroom – when school officials see a student struggling.

“We know there’s a gap in student success for those that struggle with mental-health issues. We must all take action now to support young people and provide intervention strategies earlier,” Education Minister Rob Fleming said in a statement.

About one-in-eight students in B.C. experience one or more mental-health disorders at any given time. Of those 84,000 students, only one-third receives specialized treatment, the province said.

READ MORE: Anti-bullying plan includes whistle-blowing phone app

There are 15,075 students that currently have a mental-illness or behaviours designation at their school. That means those students receive extra services and supports, supplied through their school and funded through the ministry off education’s special education services.

During the conference, Fleming announced the expansion of ERASE, a comprehensive training guide and strategy for parents and teachers for how to help students through issues such as bullying, preventing violence and school connectedness.

Starting in the upcoming school year, Fleming said ERASE will offer resources for mental health and wellness, social media and sexual orientation and gender identity.

The training guide will also include stronger information-sharing between school districts and local law enforcement agencies, an improved anonymous safety reporting tool and a provincial SOGI advisory group comprised of education partners, Fleming said.

Since its launch in 2012, ERASE has trained more than 17,000 school district staff and community partners, and more than 700 incidents have been reported through its incident reporting tool, according to the province.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

Port McNeill Cannabis Committee stumbles out of the gate

“I’m worried we could just be all over the map and I need to see a plan.”

Port Alice’s new RCMP officers going through clearance process

The medical process can take several months to complete as there are several steps involved.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read