January 2020 - Talking About Mental Health and Mental Illness

Bell Let’s Talk Day is on January 29, 2020. It is a day where awareness is brought to talking about mental illness to dispel the stigma surrounding it. This is a day where Canada focuses on promoting mental health and supporting those that are struggling. This year’s theme is “Every Action Counts”.

Bell Let’s Talk gives us some simple guidelines when talking to others about mental health and mental illness:

Treat everyone with respect.

Be warm, caring and non-judgmental.

Challenge stigma when you see it.

Watch your language.

Learn the facts about mental health and mental illness. Help raise awareness about mental health. On January 29, 2020, support this initiative by texting, tweeting and promoting mental health on social media.

Release of the YRDSB Student Suicide Intervention Protocol

York Region District School Board is committed to student wellbeing and mental health. YRDSB has developed a Student Suicide Intervention Protocol to help keep students safe in the event of suicidal thoughts or actions. The Student Suicide Intervention Protocol will be implemented starting Fall 2019. Youth suicide is a complex, emotionally-charged and sadly a real problem in Canada. It is the second leading cause of death amongst young people. It’s important to recognize that those who struggle with mental health have personal strength and resilience and the potential to overcome difficulties to ultimately thrive.

The YRDSB Student Suicide Intervention Protocol is designed to address the six steps involved when responding to current and present thoughts of suicide, as well as actions related to suicide. In addition, the Protocol is governed by a set of guiding principles which are underpinned by a culturally responsive and reflective practice.

Suicide is not culturally neutral. Our cultural and ethnic backgrounds will inform how each of us understands suicide. To see all the guiding principles, refer to the print version of the protocol on the on the board website YRDSB-Student Suicide Intervention Protocol. If you have any questions about the Student Suicide Intervention Protocol, please contact your school principal.