BC government takes step towards mental wellness for students

Photo via Province of British Columbia on Flickr

Education minister announces investment for troubled young adults in school

By Tania Arora, Staff Reporter


The government of British Columbia announced its plan to offer $8.87 million to the school districts and independent schools on September 4. The amount is directed towards the mental health and wellness programs over the next three years.

Individual grants shall be given to students to help them with mental health issues or challenges arising from the use of substance. According to the government report, Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions stated, “Students need a safe place to say, ‘I’m not ok,’ whether they’re struggling with anxiety or depression or any mental health issue. This investment will help provide students, parents and educators with the tools they need to support mental well-being for students across BC for years to come.”

The funding shall be channeled through 60 school districts and will be used for staff student workshops, family information nights, staff training, or to develop new resource materials for families or educators. The government is concerned about the response of students to trauma and their social and emotional learning.

“We know there is a gap in student success for those who struggle with mental health challenges in BC,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. He further added, “With this funding, we want to ensure all students—no matter where they live or the size of their school—are able to get the quality help they need, when they need it.”

The school districts in association with the Indigenous partners will develop activities that are safe and match the requirements of the youth. A portion of it shall also be used to support the professional development of educators. The program shall involve the engagement of leadership organizations, friends and families.

Anushka Basantani, a student at Douglas College in an interview with the Other Press said, “I have seen and heard of many instances where students have harmed themselves while low on self-esteem due to crisis in their life. They aren’t able to think practically and feel they have no one to talk to in traumatic situations. I really hope that the programs that schools will now have will help the students cope up with situations in a better way.”

The BC government is also planning to hold a School Community Mental Health Conference in 2020. The allotted funding shall be used for it as well. The conference will witness the participation of 500 BC public, independent and First Nations schools, police, health authorities, and child and youth mental health workers. The participants are active members involved in mental health and addictions services for all BC students.

The move saw huge encouragement from the families and teachers. Students will now have someone or something to fall back too.