Student Well-being Teams
Student well-being teams work in schools advising, consulting and providing direct service to children and youth who are struggling with mental, social and physical health issues.
When professionals are co-located in schools, more children can be reached and supports can be provided earlier. Barriers such as transportation to services can be eliminated and there is more opportunity to increase the focus on wellness in schools.
This student-centred approach makes it easier for professionals, along with teachers and school staff, to work together for children, youth and families.
Guiding Principles: Child-centred ~ Easy Access ~ Early Intervention ~ Collaboration
About the Student Well-being teams
Which schools have well-being teams?
The first teams are being established in Fall 2017 in the Westisle and Montague families of schools. The teams will be based at Hernewood Intermediate and Montague High School. Team members will travel from school to school.
Students and staff of École Pierre-Chiasson can access service through the Westisle team.
Teams will be in place in all families of schools over the next two years as follows:
- 2018-2019 in Colonel Gray, Souris, Morell and Bluefield families of schools;
- 2019-2020 in Charlottetown Rural, Kinkora, Kensington and Three Oaks families of schools.
Who is on the teams?
Each team includes a mental health therapist, two comprehensive school health nurses, two school outreach workers and a counselling consultant.
What services do they provide?
The Mental Health Therapist is the clinical team lead who screens and assesses students and provides clinical coordination of specialized services.
School Outreach Workers help students at school and at home to address behavioural problems, addictions, relationship issues and other challenges.
School Health Nurses support and counsel students in need, focusing on prevention and promotion and reducing the stigma that surrounds mental health. They also act as a point of contact between home, school and other health providers.
A Counselling Consultant provides counselling support and serves as the liaison between school-based student services and the student well-being team.
Working together, the teams provide education, support and guidance for overall well-being, mental health and disease prevention. Their priority is to promote knowledge, resilience and coping skills so that students and families can make informed decisions affecting mental health, psychosocial and physical health.
Who is eligible?
Services are available to school-aged children, youth and their families within the school family, particularly those who require additional supports and services to reach their full potential.
How do students access the service?
The teams offer drop-in times at each school. A student can see a team member during these times or approach a teacher or staff member to arrange a referral for them. Service providers and families may also request service by contacting a child's principal or school counsellor.
Where are services delivered?
Each school has private and comfortable space for team members to meet with children and families as well as school staff. Teams will meet with a student or family at space in the community if that is more comfortable for them.
Are the services only available during the school year?
Mental health therapists, school health nurses and school outreach workers will work year-round, with office hours at Hernewood Intermediate and Montague High School during the summer months.
Other services for students and families
Student well-being teams complement the work of other professionals who support students in schools, including:
Occupational Therapists (OTs) are available in the Montague and Westisle families of schools to support children with high physical needs in school and at home. OTs also work to build capacity among educators by helping them understand children’s motor, sensory and self-regulation development and how this can be supported to improve the child’s learning.
School Psychologists provide psycho-educational assessments to identify the root of a children’s learning or health concerns, and provide intervention and support. The student well-being teams can help to address concerns while a child is waiting for this specialized assessment.
School Counsellors, based in schools, provide individual and group counseling. They support social and emotional learning curriculum, provide career counseling and assist with behavior planning.
Speech Language Pathologists work with children who have communication disorders that can impact their participation in the classroom and their learning.
Multi-agency service teams (MAST) teams bring together a variety of professionals to create a case plan for a child or youth. Student well-being teams work closely with MAST to meet the needs of children, youth and their families.
Other services are available in the community such as public health, community mental health, addictions, primary care and child and family services. There are also a number of non-government support agencies including family resource centres and boys and girls clubs that may be helpful. A team member can make a referral to a community-based service if that is a better option. The services in schools will complement, not replace, services already available in the community.
If you have a child attending school in the Westisle or Montague family schools, please contact your school principal or school counsellor.