As part of our commitment to improving mental health and wellness, staff from throughout Northern Lights, as well as our partners throughout the region, gathered at the Bonnyville Agriplex for Mental Health Training Day on Monday, June 17.
“Our Board has made student mental health and wellness a priority for the school division,” said Grace MacLellan, Director - Inclusive Education and Community Supports. “This is the start of our journey together to help our students.”
Participants spent the morning learning about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE’s) with presenters Aaron Block, from the College of Alberta Psychologists, and Kealey Dube, from Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health.
In the afternoon, NLPS Learning Consultant Adrienne Peoples-Sprecker and Student Advocacy Counsellor Kelsey Turchyn, facilitated The Brain Architecture Game, a tabletop game experience that helps participants learn about early brain development and how different experiences in childhood affect it.
“This session was really important in terms of having our staff and partners start to build a common understanding and common language around mental health and wellness and what we are trying to achieve with our students,” said MacLellan.
The Mental Health Training Day was made possible through a grant from the Alberta Healthy School Initiatives Fund.
In April, after extensive consultation with stakeholders, the Northern Lights Public Schools Board of Trustees approved two new division priorities to be included in its 2019-2022 Three-Year Education Plan: improving the mental health and wellness of students, and improving the numeracy skills of students. The division is currently mapping out strategies that will be used at the division and school levels to address these two priorities. Final approval of the plan will take place in November.
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