The British Columbia government announced a new Mental Health in Schools (MHiS) strategy aimed at finding new ways to support students who need help.
“Students deserve our support and compassion when they experience mental health challenges, and our schools play a crucial role in helping them,” said Rob Fleming, minister of education on Sunday. “That’s why our government has made profound investments in school-based student mental health programs and why the new Mental Health in Schools Strategy is so important — so we can ensure kids can access support when they need it and feel safe and connected at school.”
The new MHiS strategy will embed positive mental health and wellness programs and services for students in all aspects of the education system, according to a government of BC press release. This includes culture, leadership, curriculum and learning environments. The strategy is the result of extensive research and collaboration between education and community partners.
“We know that when it comes to the health and well-being of young people, starting early and addressing small problems before they become big ones can make all the difference down the road,” said Judy Darcy, minister of mental health and addictions. “COVID-19 has impacted everyone in B.C., and our students deserve access to vital supports to help them thrive – now more than ever.”
For the 2020-2021 school year, the government has invested $3.75 million for new and existing mental health activities for students, families and educators. Since September 2017, the Province has committed to an investment of $13.9 million in funding for school district mental health initiatives and grants spanning four years.
“Children and teens face social and emotional challenges that are even more complex during the pandemic,” said Katrine Conroy, minister of children and family development. “I am proud to work with the Ministry of Education to promote positive mental health and wellness. Together we are making life better for B.C.’s kids.”