People for Education 16th Annual Conference November 2, 2012 Student HealthHow can schools “build” well-rounded well-grounded AND well-educated students?
Student Health involves Mental Health What role should schools play in building healthy children? Approx 18% of children and adolescents may be suffering from moderate to severe mental disorders (Offord et al. 1997) Less than one in five receive any specialized treatment. For almost 40 years, Delisle Youth Services has addressed these concerns and enhanced the prospects of such youth by working with them directly in their schools
Nurture, Foster, Enhance, Build Health Student Health can be about how we foster and enhance health with our students in schools…school is one part of their life….helping students to feel they have worth is critical in supporting learningThe Impact of Violence on Learning for Youth
Delisle Youth Services School Based ServicesDelisle operates out of 6 schoolsites; Northern Secondary, North Toronto Collegiate, Lawrence Park, York Memorial, Vaughan Road Academy and CALC
Student Health Connecting with Students Reducing barriers- Make it ‘normal’ to get help“ He was involved in every aspect of the school. Every group, he helped out with.And everybody felt comfortable talking to him. I know 50 people I could name that went to go talk with him about a problem they had”Student – The Impact of Violence on Learning for Youth
Student Health Striking a balance between activities focused on behavior problems and addressing mental health difficulties before they become intensified yielded positive findings across the full range of mental health concerns; (Prout and Prout, 1998; Rones & Hoagwood, 2000; Whinston & Sexton, 1998): Improvements in depression (Clarke et al., 1995) Substance use (Botvin et al., 1994/1995 a, b) Increased emotional literacy and enhanced interpersonal problem-solving skills (Greenberg, Kusche, Cook and Quamma, 1995) Lower problematic behaviors at school and improved academic achievement (Knoff and Batsche, 1995)
Student Health‘Mental health’ still leads to stigmatization (Corrigan 2004; Corrigan et al., 2000; Socall & Holtgrave, 1992)With the general public, and even with many service providers, the notion of mental health continues to signal deviation from the norm.
Student Health and Mental Health“I’ve seen young people who I worked with, with their mothers, wandering frombuilding to building looking for some school to take them in. And they won’t”Educator- The Impact of Violence on Learning for Youth
Student Health, Mental Health and Schools In a May 17, 2007 address to the Empire club (entitled: Children’s Mental Health is Everybody’s Business), Senator Michael Kirby (Chair of the Mental Health Commission of Canada), petitioned for a more expansive and less stigmatizing view of mental health. “we….need a major move of mental health services from their present location in most communities into the schools”
Student Health and Schools Modifying risks for mental health problems, there are few more important tasks than setting interventions within the school setting.Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, the Centre for Health Promotion, University of Toronto and Toronto Public Health
Student Health, accessing support and Schools Youth are significantly more likely to access assistance when services are located in their schools Our approach allows us to make a point about overlap between Children’s Mental Health and Education, since we are proposing the targeted goals of public education are concurrent with those of mental health
Student Health and Schools We assert that education and learning becomes severely compromised or even impossible without paying attention to mental health Research has found a high degree of association between mental health problems and poor educational and academic functioning. (Adelman & Taylor, 1998; Kessler, Foster, Saunders and Stang, 1995; also see Roeser, Eccles, & Strobel, 1998, for a review).
Delisle Youth Services School Based outreach services
Student Health and SchoolsThere is a need for a new evolving approach that increases students’ engagement with school, helping them connect with school
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services Each of our school based programs offers students a wide variety of mental health services; individual counseling, psycho educational groups, social service/health referrals, as well as consultations and assessments for school administration and teachers Our goal is to keep students actively engaged in school, and the ultimate aim is school completion.
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services Our collaboration with the TDSB began with ‘dropout prevention’ Early intervention and easy access to supportive services were protective factors, which increase the likelihood of successful school completion
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services In the last 15 years, DYS’ school-based programs have evolved into much more than a dropout prevention program. They now include targeted therapeutic groups focusing on many relevant adolescent topics(social skills, anger management, girl talk, healthy relationships and meditation) Activities such as WellNSS – Mental Health Matters and The Jack Project collaborations focused on mental health awareness and supports Referrals/advocacy Consultations and a formal assessment process
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services DYS’ school-based counselors help to develop coping skills that are transferable and contribute to success in various settings; community, home and work These skills then act as protective factors for various mental health problems: anxiety, depression, anger management, social isolation, etc (see Rones and Hoagwood, 2000; and Whiston and Sexton, 1998; for a review)
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services Every new school was a unique culture unto itself and, rather than accept this as a trite truism, we used the knowledge to plan strategically for our work. We avoid assuming that we know what the school needs but rather fit ourselves to the particulars of the school.
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based ServicesWe become embedded in the culture of the school thus increasing access points and reducing stigma School-based counselors spend time establishing credibility in the specific school and among students by participating in various aspects of school life. Counselors have coached sports teams, joined projects with student councils, mentored student groups, supported fund-raising efforts and participated on advisory panels. Consistent with other school-based programs, our success in schools is contingent on this ability to become an integrated and established part of those schools we are partnered with (Gottfredson et al., 1993).
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services DYS is a multifaceted social service agency with a full range of mental health services (residential treatment, a section 23 school, art based programming, housing support, individual and family counseling, psychiatric consultation and special programming for LGBTQ youth) thereby making our school-based programs an access point to all these services.
Student Health, Mental Health, DYS School Based Services/TDSB Partnership Within each school, DYS collaborates with existing support services. Social work and guidance services are consulted as students’ access our service and regular meetings are held with the administration to provide updates on client profiles, youth themes, and suggested areas of program development.
Northern Secondary School DYS School Based Site
Advantages Easy access to service Full-time access in most sites Little overturn in staffing which supports consistency and trust Workers are seen as part of the school fabric DYS’ service provides confidential support
DYS school-based services design activities Children and Youth Services Information System (CYSIS) Involvement in School Culture Regular meetings with School Administration and Support Services Community Consultations Health Education Consultations Client Assessment Counselling Groups Referrals/Advocacy
Northern Secondary School WellNSS –Mental Health Matters – partnership with DYS