Mental Health & Well-Being

What does mental health and well-being have to do with school?

“Mental Health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

-World Health Organization

Good mental health is vital to our well-being. It provides us with a positive world view, helps us to deal with life’s challenges, and supports healthy relationships with our friends, families and communities. Mental health helps us to reach our potential.

“There is a clear relationship between student mental health problems and academic difficulties. When students are preoccupied with emotional concerns they cannot participate fully in learning. Similarly, students who are experiencing academic challenges due to learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities, or other learning problems can develop mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression as a result. These concerns also interfere with social relationships and contribute to feelings of low self-worth, anger, worry and confusion.”

-Mental Health ASSIST


WRDSB Mental Health Strategy

The Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) recognizes the clear relationship between student mental health problems and academic difficulties. We know that mental wellness is a condition for learning. When we attend to student wellness in our school system and within our classrooms, students have a greater opportunity to reach their academic and social emotional potential.

The WRDSB Mental Health Strategy is published in the Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement (BIPSA).

The WRDSB believes that the mental wellness of staff and students is critical to the achievement of our Vision, Mission and Strategic Directions. The WRDSB is committed to the Mental Health Strategy to support mental health and well‐being as they provide direction to support the overall health and wellness of our organization.

What are some tips on having a meaningful conversation with my child about school?

Ways to ask “how was your day?” at school and not get “fine” or “I dunno” as the answer:

  1. What was the best thing that happened at school today? (What was the worst thing that happened at school today?)
  2. Tell me something that made you laugh today.
  3. If you could choose, who would you like to sit by in class? (Who would you NOT want to sit by in class? Why?)
  4. If I called your teacher tonight, what would she tell me about you?
  5. How did you help somebody today?
  6. If an alien spaceship came to your class and beamed someone up, who would you want them to take?
  7. If you got to be the teacher tomorrow, what would you do?

Looking for more questions? Read Ways to Ask Your Kids ‘So How Was School Today?’ Without Asking Them ‘So How Was School Today?’

Who can I talk to at school regarding my child’s mental health concerns?

  • You may find it helpful to speak to your child’s teacher. The school Principal and/or guidance department (in secondary schools) is always a good place to go for help too. They can connect you with other resources you may need.
  • Each school has access to a designated school social worker and psychologist through a referral process that happens at the school.
  • If you are worried about your child’s mental health or safety, or that of someone else, be sure to ask for help from a health care professional.

Where can I go in my community for help if I am concerned about my child’s mental health?

  • Crisis Services of Waterloo Region (available 24 hours a day/7 days a week) – 519-744-1813 or 1-844-437-3247
  • Front Door – Access for Children and Youth Mental Health Services in Waterloo Region – 519-749-2932
  • Ray of Hope – Youth Addictions – 519-743-2311 · 1081 King St E Kitchener

Walk-In Counselling Service

A Walk-in counselling session does not require an appointment and you can receive immediate assistance on the spot. Content discussed in walk-in sessions are held in strict confidence as with any other counseling relationship. Through a single family counselling session, experienced counsellors help identify issues and equip families with tools and strategies to address their concerns. They can also help determine next steps for service. The focus of the session is determined by each family’s unique needs. A Walk-in counselling session does not require an appointment and is free of chargeThe last appointment is one hour before closing. Please check the organization’s website for up to date information on walk-in dates and times.

  • Front Door at 1770 King St. E Kitchener on Mondays 9 am – 430 pm, and Wednesdays 12 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Lutherwood at 35 Dickson St. Cambridge on Tuesdays 12 pm – 7:30 pm
  • Langs Farm at 11:45 Concession Road Cambridge on Thursdays 9 am – 5 pm
  • KW Counselling at 480 Charles Street, East in Kitchener Thursdays from 12 pm – 6 pm

Suicide Prevention

Tell someone if you have concerns or thoughts about suicide.

  • Call the crisis line (1-844-437-3247)
  • Call 911 if it is an emergency

Check out the resources at:

Download the Mental Health & Well-Being Newsletter, September 2015.

Categories: News