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

ELECTION QUESTIONS: How do candidates form their opinions on transit in Surrey?

Who is on the right side of Surrey’s transit debate? That’s for voters to decide come Oct. 20.

Surrey wants BNSF to slow Crescent trains

Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Rail-safety forum planned for White Rock this Friday

Event to include municipal, federal, provincial governments

White Rock open house to discuss city’s aquifer protection plan

Examination of potential hazards includes increased population, climate change

‘Connecting Threads’ and more in Surrey Art Gallery’s fall shows

Free admission at opening reception and panel discussion Sunday afternoon

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

‘Sesame Street’ wants to clarify: Bert and Ernie aren’t gay

The characters are best friends and have many human traits but “remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation”

Province announces 74 new French teaching spots at SFU, UBC

Needed to fill demand for increasingly popular French immersion programs in B.C.

B.C. Rural Party co-founder rebukes pro-NDP accusation

Telkwa Mayor Darcy Repen disputes being NDP campaign supporter

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Most Read