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It seems appropriate with school back in session and kids taking on new routines and schedules to talk about mental wellness and how we can work together as parents, teachers and the community to support kids and help prepare them for challenges they may face this year.

This 3rd article from the Cancer Risk Assessment in Youth Survey (CRAYS), done by the University of Waterloo here at George Elliot Secondary School, looks at the results on mental wellness and connectedness in our school [for full report go to: https://osis.uwaterloo.ca/  Login: georgel786 password: Canada].

It states that mental wellness is “the ability to think, feel, and act in ways that strengthen our capacity to enjoy life and deal with challenges as they arise”.  It is measured by positive social connections (relatedness), feelings of success (competence) and perception of personal freedom (autonomy). See the chart below for stats at GESS:

Essentially the report says is that if we cultivate mental wellness in our children we lay the foundation to them making healthy behaviour choices and having academic success. Those who feel they are connected to the school and feel their teachers are supportive of them are more likely to have better results during high school and are more likely to graduate. They are also less likely to engage in unhealthy/risky behaviours such as drinking, smoking and trying marijuana. Have a look at how our school compares to others across BC and Canada:

 

As you can see, 88% strongly agree or agree that they feel safe at GESS, which is close to the national average. 74% strongly agree or agree that they feel happy at the school and 74% also feel a part of the school. This indicates that our levels are just a bit lower than other schools across BC and Canada in most areas.

What can we do to support a stronger culture of wellness at GESS? The article outlines many different strategies, suggesting that school connectedness begins with a positive school atmosphere, promoting a united school community and having kids and teachers take pride in the physical and social environment of their school. A culture of wellness may start at the school but is ideally supported through partnering with parents and the wider community.

More specifically we can promote and cultivate mental wellness by encouraging kids to get involved in their community, do some volunteering, help them learn to appreciate what they have, encourage them to recognize and share their personal gifts, help them express emotions, help them learn how to deal in a positive manner with negative thoughts, and support their hobbies and personal interests.

The Health Hub

We are here to offer you resources and support. Visit us at our physical location, The Health Hub.

Click here for our location and hours.

We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Province of British Columbia.

We acknowledge the financial assistance of the Central Okanagan Foundation.

ABOUT US

The Lake Country Health Planning Society (LCHPS) is a non-profit organization that has been supporting community wellness since 1982.