School Based Mental Health
Education, health, and social service systems all share the same goal, to be part of an engaged and vibrant society that promotes, supports and celebrates healthy outcomes for children and families. One challenge in any shared pursuit of this goal, however, is the fractured and separate nature of these sectors and both in Ontario and across Canada we have a great deal of work ahead of us to provide supports and services to children and families who are struggling with mental well-being. Using a systems of care perspective that places the child and family in the centre of a connected and caring circle of support that emphasizes evidence-based practices, inter-professional collaboration, community development and the strengths of children, families and communities, we strive to make a difference. Western has established the Centre for School-Based Mental Health to address the need for improved promotion, prevention, and intervention services for children who may be at-risk for, or present with, mental health challenges. The Centre focuses on those children and youth who are often overlooked due to the complexity or level of need and the lack of capacity within the traditional child mental health system to deliver timely and appropriate service. Promoting knowledge and intervention within a unique system of care where schools play a vital part will become, we believe, part of the solution to improving these long term mental health, learning and behavioural outcomes.