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

Okanagan wildfires have potential to become firestorms, says UBC expert

David Andison said to let smaller fires go, to create pockets in the landscape for new forests

Okanagan Wildfires: The latest on wildfires and evacuations

A Saturday morning look at the major wildfires impact the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Okanagan Mountain Park fire shows no growth overnight

The wildfire, also called Goode’s Creek wildfire, continues to burn near Kelowna

Wildfire near Peachland shows no growth overnight

Fire chief Dennis Craig said wind was blowing the fire away from homes

Here’s what you need to know about Day 2 at the BC Games

From equestrian to volleyball to swimming, all 18 events in full swing here in the Cowichan Valley

VIDEO: B.C. rancher demands change on how gov’t handles emergencies after 2017 wildfires

Essential service designation, tax deferrals should be on the table for ranchers

From hot dog to not dog: stuffed toy prompts car break in

Victoria couple said dog toy had been in the backseat for 18 years without problems

Wildfire crews working to strengthen line around fire near Summerland

The Mount Conkle wildfire is 90 per cent guarded

VIDEO: Open water swimming from B.C. to Washington in 24 hours

The swim will take a full day, meaning Susan Simmons will be swimming in the black of night

Update: Wildfire near West Kelowna mapped at 10 hectares

The wildfire near Glenrosa is considered out of control

Cigarette packs with graphic images, blunt warnings are effective: focus groups

Warnings considered effective flag ailments smoking can cause, like colorectal and stomach cancers

Canada’s title hopes quashed at Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco

On the men’s side, Canada was eliminated in the round of 16 as they were shut out by Argentina 28-0

‘We are doing the right thing:’ Protesters dig in at anti-pipeline camp

B.C. Supreme Court ruled in March that both the camp and a nearby watch house could remain in place

Most Read