Kenora Catholic adds student mental health counselors

The Kenora Catholic Mental Health Department is delighted to welcome two students to the team as student mental health counselors.

The new initiative, which began in September, aims to add student voices to help guide programming and ensure student input is integrated into mental health conversations and initiatives in the classroom and across the board. advice.

Sue Devlin, Clinical Mental Health Manager, explains why new student mental health counselors are important.

“The voice of students has been missing from mental health programs in Kenora Catholic,” says Devlin. “We know that students are the experts when it comes to their own lives. Therefore, incorporating their ideas and knowledge into our program is a key part of a successful mental health program. “

Grade 10 students from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Molly Hendy and Kaelyn Stasus have been selected as student mental health counselors. The students met regularly with Devlin to discuss ideas and share tips for promoting student mental health in the classroom.

“We meet regularly at lunchtime and they share helpful tips for teachers who promote student mental health, providing key things to look for when students may be struggling and just sharing their thoughts. comprehensive knowledge of what brings Catholic students to Kenora. joy, ”says Devlin.

Some of the ideas put forward by students include starting the class with a serotonin vibe with a 5 minute dance or a brisk walk around the school in class. They would also like to see students put their phones down during breaks and participate in games or activities to help build community and relationships.

Molly Hendy explains why she wants to help.

“We would like to help teachers learn more about their students’ mental health so that they can improve it in the classroom and their students can learn better. “

Student mental health counselors presented at the November 16 board meeting, along with Devlin, to discuss the new initiative. The students created a series of short videos explaining the program.

In one of the videos, Kaelyn Stasus explains why she got involved.

“I decided to apply to be one of the first Student Mental Health Advisory Members so that I could give my perspective on helping the school with their students’ mental health. I want to make sure that students focus on themselves and no longer feel the need to put their own sanity on the back burner after grades in their classes. I believe that life is more than grades, jobs and money, and I want everyone to see the miracle that is life.

Devlin explained that as the program grows, the vision of the new Student Mental Health Advisors is to help students and teachers value mental health and make the school a better place for students. struggling with their mental health.

“I am delighted that Molly and Kaelyn are working with us, they are a wealth of knowledge and I look forward to our journey together,” said Devlin.

Article submitted by the Kenora Catholic District School Board.

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