Centre for School Mental Health receives violence prevention funding

By: Gerry Rucchin
February 13, 2019

Associate Vice President (Research), Juan Luis-Suarez, London North Centre Member of Parliament, Peter Fragiskatos, Executive Director, Anago, Kathryn Eggert, Director of the Centre for School Mental Health, Claire Crooks, and Faculty of Education Dean, Vicki Schwean.

Associate Vice President (Research), Juan Luis-Suarez, London North Centre Member of Parliament, Peter Fragiskatos, Executive Director, Anago, Kathryn Eggert, Director of the Centre for School Mental Health, Claire Crooks, and Faculty of Education Dean, Vicki Schwean.

The Centre for School Mental Health has received $5 million to prevent gender-based violence and improve mental health for vulnerable youth.

The funding, from the Public Health Agency of Canada, will be over five years.

The project will promote skills to prevent gender-based violence among high-risk youth, LGBT2Q+ youth, Indigenous youth, and newcomer youth. More than 2,600 youth will participate.

Focusing on teen dating violence prevention, the research will also concentrate on positive relationship behaviours and preventing problematic substance use.

“Our programming has been shown to reduce teen dating violence, but its impact is much broader,” said Director of the Centre for School Mental Health, Professor Claire Crooks. “Our positive youth development approach gives youth the skills they need to develop healthy relationships, improve their mental health, and minimize problematic substance use.”

During a celebration at the Faculty of Education, Peter Fragiskatos, Member of Parliament for London North Centre, made the announcement on behalf of the Minister of Health, Ginette Petitpas Taylor.

“Violence can affect anyone, but some people, such as Indigenous youth or young people who identify as LGBT2Q+ or have recently immigrated to Canada, may face greater challenges and barriers to healthy relationships. I am proud to announce the Government of Canada’s support for this project, which is being led by Western University. Ensuring that programs and resources meet the needs of our youth is crucial to ending dating violence,” said Minister Petitpas Taylor in a statement.

Training will be provided to professionals that serve underserved populations in Ontario, Alberta, and Northwest Territories. National collaborators outside of province- and territory-specific areas will offer training, resources, and knowledge mobilization activities to other service providers and educators from coast-to-coast-to-coast. 

Training and resources will be provided to 540 facilitators and 875 pre-service educators, reaching more than 2,600 youth.