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

Guest comment: Downtown shouldn’t cater to drivers

I’m not saying ban cars, I’m saying stop accommodating them, says guest columnist

Fair trade store in Nanaimo will be open until Christmas

Global Village Nanaimo, a non-profit, opens seasonal store at Terminal Avenue and Campbell Street

Thief uses ladder found behind home in break-and-enter in Nanaimo

Unsolved crime happened sometime between Nov. 2-3 on Morey Road

$1,000 worth of cosmetics stolen from Nanaimo drugstore

RCMP searching for suspects in unsolved cosmetics thefts

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Readers argue for electoral reform

Three letters to the editor make case for proportional representation

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo appearances in superhero movies

Nanaimo reflects, remembers 100 years after First World War ended

Thousands attend Remembrance Day ceremony in downtown Nanaimo

Heads up, phones down for Pedestrian Safety Day

City of Nanaimo, RCMP, ICBC host event to promote safe walking, cycling and driving

Surging Rangers beat visiting Canucks 2-1

Goalie Lundqvist ties Plante on all-time wins list

Construction proceeding on Nanaimo vehicle processing centre

Facility to be operational by Jan. 1 to prepare European vehicles for Canadian market

VIDEO: Newcomer kids see first Canadian snowfall

Children arrived in Canada with their mother and two siblings last week from Eritrea

Calgary 2026 leader expects close vote in Winter Games plebiscite

Residents to choose in a non-binding vote on Tuesday whether they want city to bid on 2026 Olympics

Feds dropped ball with WWI anniversary tributes: historians

Wrote one historian: ‘Other than the Vimy Ridge celebration … I think they have done a very bad job’

Sides ‘far apart’ in Canada Post talks despite mediation, says union

The lack of a breakthrough means rotating strikes will resume Tuesday

Most Read