Positive Mental Health = Emotional Well-being = Student Well-being
"Positive mental health is the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections, and personal dignity." - Public Health Agency of Canada
Please note: This website provides staff with universal supports for developing positive mental health. For immediate mental health concerns supports, please refer to the appropriate resources including:
- The Healthy Schools approach provides a comprehensive way to address positive mental health in your school
- You can also refer to your school board's mental health strategy and connect with your Mental Health Lead with any questions about your board's mental health and wellness plan.
To assess areas of focus related to positive mental health, here is a free tool for schools, the Positive Mental Health Module, in the Healthy Schools Online Planner. Please contact your Board Mental Health Lead for further assistance prior to completing the Online Planner.
Review your school climate survey results and identify areas related to positive mental health for the whole school community.
Positive mental health promotion at the school level can be supported by using the Healthy Schools approach to promote healthy lifestyle choices, such as healthy eating and physical activity.
Engaging students in Healthy Schools initiatives is important. Region of Waterloo Public Health has developed a Youth Engagement Toolkit that provides ideas for involving students in Healthy Schools initiatives.
This action plan template may be helpful for planning activities related to positive mental health initiatives.
Guidelines, fact sheets, definitions
Shifting Gears report highlights the interrelation and interconnectedness between healthy eating, physical activity and positive mental wellness
Supporting Minds: An Educator's Guide to Promoting Students' Mental Health and Well-being developed by the Ministry of Education, provides information and strategies to support students who may be experiencing issues related to mental health
Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA)
School Mental Health ASSIST - A website to support school leaders
Bounce Back Again - A resource kit to support staff in JK-8 with the goal to start conversations with children or youth about bouncing back from adversity
After implementing initiatives at your school, take some time to complete the Healthy Schools Online Planner - Positive Mental Health Module again to help compare any changes within your school.
Celebrating the hard work of the school community will promote a positive environment within the school. It will also encourage support for Healthy Schools in the future and provide a chance to highlight the school's successes. Inclusive ways to celebrate Healthy Schools initiatives may include:
- Involving the whole school community in Healthy School celebrations
- Encouraging students and teachers to communicate and celebrate successes
- Incorporating self-esteem and confidence building activities into the classroom with outcomes that can be recognized and celebrated