Student-based Mental Health Initiatives

Photo of two adults and two preschool-aged children

This year, the Community Health & Social Services Network (CHSSN) is partnering with LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) to offer $20,000 in grants. These funds will support student-based mental health initiatives within the Community Learning Centres (CLC) network that are aimed at promoting school-based mental health and well-being initiatives with community partners. 

“One in five Canadians live with mental health problems, mental illness or addiction. But the reality is, five in five of us have mental health, just like we all have physical health. We can all benefit from celebrating, promoting and acknowledging the role that good mental health plays in living a full and meaningful life.”  (Canadian Mental Health Association)

CLCs across the province are fostering school-community partnerships and collaborating on initiatives that support student and family health and well-being. Each CLC has a Community Development Agent (CDA), who works with local and provincial health services to ensure that families in the community have access to quality services in English.

CLC health and well-being projects range from awareness campaigns and prevention workshops for students and their families to professional development for staff and community partners, and so much more! The network recognizes that the best strategies address every sphere of influence (families, school staff, community partners) centred around the needs of each child. Because schools cannot do it alone, CDAs will be partnering with their local NPIs (English-language health and social service providers) whenever possible or other local health partners. 

The Provincial Resource team has consulted with experts in the field of mental health to offer CDAs guidelines and pertinent information about evidence-based practices to promote positive mental health. The PRT maintains and develops partnerships that facilitate and bolster connections between the CLC network and key organizations across the province, such as:

Community Health & Social Services Network (CHSSN) Go to site

Centre of Excellence for Mental Health Go to site

AMI Quebec Go to site

Additional Resources available on LEARN's Mental Health Resources page Go to page

The results are in!

Photo: Zootherapy at Valcartier Elementary CLC. Grade 2 teacher (Emilie Cameron):  Students were happy to have their own quiet time with the dog.  They found the students felt special that they could read to the dog.  It brought their stress level down a lot

A few months ago, (see below) LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) engaged in a collaboration with the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to make a grant available to Community Learning Centres (CLC) to support the implementation of activities, projects and programs that address school-based mental health and wellbeing promotion initiatives.  

The projects were developed using the LEARN/CHSSN Action Framework, supporting the well-being of minority English-language youth, schools and communities.  Download

In total, 13 projects were funded across the English school boards of Quebec. According to the preliminary evaluations of the projects supported by the CHSSN grant, we can categorize the types of projects into three areas that point towards these areas of support: 

- The establishment of mindfulness activities that were previously not available in rural communities, such as yoga at Laurentian CLC and mindfulness at Mecatina CLC.

- The establishment of programs conducted in partnership with a community partner that focussed on social and emotional learning.  Examples include:

- Behaviour to animals program called Zootherapy was established at Valcartier CLC which supported students with parents in the military (see photo) 

- Verdun CLC expanded a program supported by Collective Community Services (CCS) which according to evaluations contributed to “fewer instances of anti-social behaviour and a greater sense of community and belonging in the schools.”

- Students at James Lyng CLC participated in a partnership with the SPCA Montreal. “Students that participated in the workshops feel more connected with one another as well seem to be better equipped to deal with stressors.”

- Parent workshops and professional learning for teachers, school staff and community partners to take a coordinated approach to addressing mental health issues among youth in the community. For example

- Richmond Regional CLC conducted a workshop for teachers about anxiety in youth, so they can better contribute to healthy relationships

- St Michael’s CLC in Low initiated the 2nd annual youth summit for mental wellness.  Students reported “increased awareness of resources when they need help and feeling at ease to ask for it!”

In total 25 Community Partners were engaged in developing or delivering services in collaboration with the CLC.

Want to LEARN more? Check the Resources available on LEARN's Mental Health Resources page Go to page

To be inspired by more CLC magic stories, go to page   

To learn more about the CLC initiative, go to page