Student Mental Health and Addictions Newsletter - April 2022

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One Small Thing: Fostering Positive Mindsets

We recognize that Mental Health and Well-being are instrumental to one’s well-being including their ability to cope during tough times including but not limited to daily stressors, work productively and to see themselves as capable of adding value to the greater community. We all go through mental health similar to our physical health. Mental illnesses are the opposite of mental wellness. We can all experience this at any stage of our life no matter our age, background, culture, or ethnicity. We continue to work towards foundations laid out in the Director’s Annual Plan, which highlights the goal of building safe, healthy and inclusive learning and working environments where all feel they matter and belong. We strive to build on the notion of Acknowledging, Bridging and Connecting (ABCs of mental health) and create actions to support this framework. We are re-launching the One Small Thing Campaign: One Small Thing: Fostering Positive Mindsets. The intention of the One Small Thing campaign is to collectively highlight small and intentional actions within our control that can improve one’s mood and overall mental wellness. The Campaign creates an opportunity to highlight the gifts, assets and strengths of students and staff in ways that are identity affirming. Check out the WWW MH page frequently for more information on One Small Thing. 

In an article entitled “Missing your people: Why Belonging is so Important and How to Create It” by Dr. Tracy Bower (a Ph.D. in Sociology studying work life commitment and happiness as well as the author of The Secrets to Happiness at Work and Bring Work to Life by Bringing Life to Work), Dr. Bower discusses why belonging and connectivity is important in our communities. Feeling connected in spaces where we feel we belong is essential to our development and empowerment.  The article highlights some important factors to keep in mind: 

  • Engagement and Social Identity - Feeling that you are part of something that feels authentic. Think of who are the people, things and elements in your life that bring unity? What helps you to feel strong, safe and brave? Think of the one small thing that looks like for your families and communities. 
  • A Fundamental Need - Feeling connected allows us to be the authors of our own lives. Who are your roots that help you feel belonged? Is that your family, community, faith? What helps to ground you? What actions do you need to blossom as an individual, family and community? 
  • Impact on Performance and Habits - Think of what you need to feel heard. What does it feel like when loved ones listen to us? What does active listening look like in your world?
  • Creating Belonging 
    • Embracing groups and connection - what identity do you share with your families and communities? What personal identities show up for you on a daily basis? 
    • Authenticity - What is the one small thing to make you feel brave? How did that feel? What one small thing do you need as an individual, family and communities to feel authentic? For some this can be representing their faith, playing a song, expressing certain colours and so on.
    • Signal Acceptance - What clues do you notice that helps a sense of belonging? For some it can be their language, connecting with nature, listening, feeling safe etc. 

Now more than ever, One Small Thing is needed especially when our students, families and communities can feel isolated. Check out our One Small Thing Campaign video that brings connectivity and unity.

Additional Resources

Upcoming Workshops

Triple P Seminar #1 - The Power of Positive Parenting - Wed, April 6, 2022 10:00 AM EDT 

For more additional workshops visit York Hills Centre for Children, Youth and Families website.

We look forward to creating pathways for caring connections and meaningful relationships with parents, caregivers, and families. Share your voice by using this feedback form, and let’s pave the path forward together.

Mental Health COVID-19 Page

As we focus on keeping ourselves healthy and containing the spread of COVID-19, we must also keep ourselves mentally well. The link below is dedicated to supporting student mental health during this Pandemic. Resources for students, parents/guardians as well as community resources are listed. In addition, there are various links to YRDSB mental health support as well as community support. Please consider taking some time to familiarize yourself with the supports found on the COVID-19 Mental Health Supports for Students and Families webpage.  

Continue to check out the YRDSB website for updated information as well as the Twitter accounts @MH_YRDSB and @YRDSB.


YRDSB Mental Health services are provided by YRDSB psychology and social work personnel


Patricia Marra-Stapleton, M.Sc., C. Psych. Assoc.

Mental Health Lead


Hoshana Calliste, MSW, RSW

Assistant Coordinator of Mental Health


Swetha Srikanthan, MSW, RSW

Assistant Coordinator of Mental Health

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