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Education

Students, staff supported by new Mental Health in Schools Strategy

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Education

Students, staff supported by new Mental Health in Schools Strategy

Media Contacts
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Communications
250-213-7049
Ministry of Education
Communications
250 356-5963
Media Contacts
Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions
Communications
250-213-7049
Ministry of Education
Communications
250 356-5963

Backgrounders

Investments in mental health

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. These include the following:

  • $2 million in extra funding for wellness programs announced on Sept. 2, 2020.
  • $8.87 million in funding over three years announced on Sept. 4, 2019, which includes grants for all 60 school districts and independent schools:
    • $1.75 million for the 2020-21 school year.
    • $2 million for the 2019-20 school year.
  • $3 million in funding for mental health supports announced on Feb. 4, 2019, which includes grants for all 60 school districts and independent schools:
    • $2.2 million for the 2018-19 school year.
  • In 2019-20, grants for schools supported new and enhanced existing mental health activities that included the following:
    • New Westminster SD40 created a Mental Health Literacy poster that is displayed in every classroom in the school district.
    • Okanagan-Similkameen SD53 implemented wellness clubs in all district secondary schools.
    • Gold Trail SD74 delivered a trauma-informed practice session to 25 staff members, as well as a trauma and resiliency workshop for 60 families/caregivers and community members.
    • Greater Victoria SD61 introduced the Second Step program for social emotional learning in all district elementary schools.
    • Vancouver Island West SD84 successfully planned and delivered a district-wide student mental health summit.
    • Surrey SD36 implemented an Aboriginal outreach worker for mental health support in the district.
    • FISA BC created the wellbeingbc.ca website, with a series of videos outlining mental health support strategies and their practical applications.
  • In 2019-20, the Province enhanced the ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy with a $5.4 million investment to expand its focus to include mental health and wellness, substance use, social media and online safety, gang prevention, support for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities, and resources for educators of children and youth who have experienced traumatic events and early hardships.
  • Since 2017, the Province has invested $12.3 million in the ERASE strategy, creating resources for students, parents, educators and community partners in B.C.
  • The Ministry of Education hosted two School Community Mental Health Conferences in 2018 and 2019, bringing together more than 500 representatives of B.C. public, independent and First Nations schools, police, health authorities, and child and youth mental health workers, who are focused on making life better for students struggling with mental health challenges.
  • In November 2019, students in grades 7 to 9 from around the province built mental health resiliency and developed skills to help them succeed in their life and career goals at the BC Lions Skills 4 Life Summit in Vancouver.
  • The Ministry of Education has invested $730,000 to fund a new provincial SOGI education lead and expand the annual provincial SOGI Education Summit. All of B.C.’s 60 school districts and independent schools have SOGI-inclusive codes of conduct in place and are part of the B.C. SOGI Educator Network, ensuring schools are safe and inclusive for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has invested $5 million to expand existing mental health programs and launch new services in response to the extraordinary situation.  
    • For example, because of this investment, FoundryBC added online and call, text or chat support to its services, including counselling, peer support services and physical health care, so young people and families in all corners of the province can get the help they need when they need it.
  • For the first time, B.C.'s Gay-Straight or Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) meet-ups were held virtually, rather than in person, so students from the LGBTQ2S+ community, who may be feeling vulnerable and disconnected from their peers and schools, could join their friends online or over the phone.

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