K to A: Mental Health Awareness Program for Indian Head
This school improved the mental health of their students through
- Mental Health Awareness Movie Nights
A movie was selected from a mental health related theme each month (e.g., Cyber-bullying, social media, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide, teen pregnancy, emotions, drug use, and alcohol). Students created their own related videos on the topic to be shown before the movie and community guests were invited to speak after the movie (e.g., RCMP, local health unit, etc.). Some of these videos grew into cooperative projects among a few grades.
- Guest Speakers for Students, Staff, Parents, and Community
This part of the initiative included presentations from Understand Us (presentation from the lens of a young person who has struggled with mental health) and Dwayne Peace (presentation called Life’s Challenges in Secondary School). Dwayne Peace also facilitated small group sessions to create student participation, especially for those students in need of extra support. One session resulted in a list of coping strategies that was shared throughout the school.
The initiative resulted in high satisfaction from students, a reduction in the school social worker’s caseload, improved attendance and teacher-student relationships, and an increase in empathy among students. A PEERS group was developed to continue spreading motivational messages throughout the school.