Students across the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows School District were thinking more about their mental health Friday.
National Child and Youth Mental Health Day was marked with a series of videos, activities and presentations, at schools throughout the district aimed building connections between young people and the caring adults in their lives.
The national day on youth mental health was started in 2007 by FamilySmart, a mental-health service provider, founded by Keli Anderson and Susan Hess in 2000.
At the elementary level students learned how smart their brains and bodies are and how sensations are their body’s way of telling them how they feel and what they need.
Students at the secondary level watched pre-recorded presentations made by young people for young people.
At noon FamilySmart held a virtual presentation led by FamilySmart manager Karen Peters called Conversations About Mental Health: What it sounds like at different ages – teaching parents how to connect with their children all the way up to 18 years.
The Maple Ridge – Pitt Meadows School District released a statement saying it is deeply committed to supporting the mental health and wellness of its students and staff.
“While National Child and Youth Mental Health Day is a great way to raise awareness around these critical issues, it is equally important that mental health literacy, mental illness de-stigmatization, and supports are embedded in the everyday life of our school communities.”
“The district has a multi-pronged approach aimed at supporting staff, engaging students, and working collaboratively with community partners. Our student voice has been abundantly clear that they feel mental health education is essential to their learning and this is a priority for our district,” the statement said.
FamilySmart was also encouraging young people to share photos and messages of caring on their social media profiles using the hashtags #may7icare, #icare, and #childandyouthmentalhealthday.
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