Mental Health & Wellness

Limestone Learning Foundation

Mental health is not just the absence of mental illness. The World Health Organization defines mental health as a “state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community."

Image of mental health continuumThere is a clear relationship between student mental health problems and academic difficulties. When students are preoccupied with emotional concerns they cannot participate fully in learning. Schools are, indeed, an optimal setting to reduce stigma, promote positive mental health, build student social-emotional learning skills, prevent the development of mental health problems in high risk groups, identify students in need, and support them along the pathway to service.

Roughly one in five students in Canadian schools struggle with a mental health problem that is severe and persistent (emotional, behavioural and brain-related disturbances) and that interferes with their day to day functioning. In 70% of cases, the onset of problems begins before age 18 with 50% of cases starting before age 14.  Up to 80% of children and youth who experience a mental health problem will not receive treatment.

According to a recent report from the Mental Health Commission of Canada (School-Based Mental Health in Canada: A Final Report, 2013), schools are an ideal place to provide universal mental health promotion in teaching coping skills and provide early intervention for students who may not have otherwise received treatment. The Limestone District School Board has developed a comprehensive Mental Health Strategy to help promote mental health, identify issues early, reduce stigma and provide pathways to both Board and community-based supports for students.

The Limestone District School Board is situated on traditional territories of the Anishinaabe & Haudenosaunee.