Students should be healthy, so that they can fully participate in school and community activities.
When we are talking about health, it is not just about physical health, but also about mental health. Mental health is not simply the absence of mental illness. It is important to take a preventative approach when we know that there may be long term serious consequences. By using the resources we have today, we will ensure a better tomorrow.
The Public Health Agency of Canada describes positive mental health as “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”.
Understanding and promoting positive mental health in schools is a shared responsibility of parents, educators and community partners. Physically and emotionally healthy students are more likely to be successful in school and in life.
There is growing evidence on the long-term value of promoting the positive mental health of children and young people. This is done through shaping early childhood experiences, understanding brain development, positive parenting, early intervention and effective educational services and programs.
We can make a difference through timely action. By addressing this issue now, we will be better off in the long run. Schools and communities are the perfect environments to promote mental health. Building protective factors, such as self-esteem, emotional resilience, positive thinking, problem-solving and social skills, stress management skills and feelings of mastery. This will help balance negative factors in the lives of children and youth
To be most effective, promoting mental health can be part of a whole school approach, providing education to children, youth and their families, creating partnerships with community agencies, creating positive school environments and policies that support mental wellness