What’s in Your
Students of all ages began heading back to school this week. There has been a definite shift in energy on the streets, in the
shops, and in our neighbourhoods. The back-to-school buzz is all around us. Backpacks are being filled with all the latest and greatest school supplies. I remember the excitement of the first few days of school each year. I also remember the anxious moments of unknowing: navigating new routines, discovering unfamiliar faces, and feeling a bit lost in the crowd.
For the most part, children and youth are pretty resilient when it comes to adapting to change and new beginnings. But not everyone learns to cope. I wonder if we are helping our students fill their backpacks with enough of the right kind of essential school supplies for the new year. Do they have the tools they need to help promote and maintain mental health?
In the news lately we have been hearing that School Boards in different parts of the country are beginning to integrate mental health education into their curriculum. The hope is to equip students with the tools they need to manage the stresses they encounter, and to reduce the stigma often associated with seeking help. Equipping students with enough tools in their toolkit to manage their mental health is a great idea.
We all need to learn the skills that will help us navigate the joys and challenges that are guaranteed to come our way throughout our lives. Let’s also remember though, teaching these tools is not just the
responsibility of our schools. We all need to take on the responsibility of passing on these life skills – parents, grandparents, friends, faith communities, neighbours. We are all in this together.
Peace and joy,