Well-being teams now supporting Montague, Westisle students
Supporting Island families -
Student well-being teams in the Montague and Westisle families of schools have helped more than 130 students since forming this September, providing valuable care and helping to prevent more serious issues.
Students receive help from the teams with a variety of issues such as dealing with anxiety, improving attendance, and managing diabetes or eating disorders.
Since they started in September the two new teams have worked on 130 student referrals and coordinated several group sessions and educational initiatives.
“The teams are there to meet the needs of youth and families as early as possible and in the least intrusive manner,” said Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Jordan Brown. He said the teams were established because the district advisory councils – and the public through the School Review – asked for more school mental health supports.
“By locating services in schools we are making them easier and more timely to access,” the minister said, “and preventing issues from escalating and impacting a student’s ability to succeed in school and later in life.”
The student well-being teams provide a coordinated approach to the delivery of social, health and justice supports to children, youth, and families within the school environment.
Each team includes a mental health therapist, two nurses, two school outreach workers, and a counselling consultant. Team members travel to each school in the family of schools, where space has been dedicated space for them to see students.
Provincial coordinator Geoff MacDonald said the teams empower children, youth and their families through resilience-building initiatives that help to prevent more serious mental health needs later.
“Our team members have an added advantage because most are from these communities,” he said. “Because they are well known and trusted in their communities, students and families are more likely to connect with them when they need help.”
Meetings are taking place this week to plan for teams in the Bluefield, Colonel Gray, Souris, and Morell families of schools next year. Staff are also engaging with the French Language School Board to determine how best to meet the needs of all students. Once teams are in place at all Island schools over the next two years, they will be supported by provincial government funding of more than $5 million per year.
More information on the teams is available at www.princeedwardisland.ca/en/information/education-early-learning-and-culture/student-well-being-teams.
Education, Early Learning and Culture
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Members of the Montague and Westisle teams met recently to share and learn from each others’ experiences (LtoR): Dara McGregor, Montague Mental Health Therapist and Team Lead; Jane Wood, Montague School Outreach Worker; Craig Conahan, Montague Counseling Consultant; Juliana Barry and Sheri Ferguson, Montague School Health Nurses; Mark Campbell, Montague School Outreach Worker; Alicia Doyle Westisle School Health Nurse; Lorna Hutt, Westisle Mental Health Therapist and Team Lead; Cory Snow, Westisle School Outreach Worker; Geoff MacDonald, Provincial Coordinator; Bethany MacIsaac, Westisle School Health Nurse; Andrea Garland, Westisle Counseling Consultant; and Barbie Barber, Westisle School Outreach Worker.