Province Introduces New Mental Health Resources in Schools

Department of Education (to March 26, 2013)

October 5, 2009 10:47 AM

Nova Scotia's students will gain a better understanding of mental health with the introduction of new resources to support health education in schools, Education Minister Marilyn More announced today, Oct. 5.

The Healthy Mind/Healthy Body resources supplement the province's newly enhanced health education curriculum, which includes mental health as one of six priority areas.

"Healthy Mind/Healthy Body speaks to students in age-appropriate language, and teaches the difference between healthy and unhealthy feelings," said Ms. More. "It is intended to help both students and their families cope with the challenges that youth face as they grow and mature."

These resources, which include a pamphlet called Let's Talk About... Mental Health, encourage open and honest discussion around feelings and worries. The learning activities encourage students to talk to a trusted adult when they begin to feel overwhelmed by certain feelings.

Ms. More, accompanied by adolescent mental health experts Dr. Stanley Kutcher and Dr. Bianca Horner, who authored the materials, attended a class at Portland Estates Elementary School today where they shared their thoughts and feelings with Ms. Mamoona Brace's grade four and five class.

"The idea is that by learning to openly discuss emotions and concerns, students will begin to see mental health as an important and natural aspect of their overall health," said Ms. More.

In the earlier grades, Healthy Mind/Healthy Body has students track their feelings in a monthly calendar and identify what causes them to feel frightened, sad or worried. In grades seven to nine, students discuss common mental illnesses and learn to identify their warning signs.

These new resources are part of the recently developed Nova Scotia health education curriculum for grades primary to nine, and have been used in classrooms since spring. The resources further confirm Nova Scotia's position as the national leader in developing curriculum in child and adolescent mental health.


FOR BROADCAST USE:

     Nova Scotia's students will gain a better understanding of

mental health with the introduction of new resources to support

health education in schools.

     Education Minister Marilyn More announced today (October

5th) that the Healthy Mind/Healthy Body resources address child

and adolescent mental health concerns and are intended to help

youth and their families cope with the challenges of growing up.

     The mental health materials are written in age-appropriate

language and complement the health curriculum for grades four

through nine already in place in Nova Scotia's public schools.

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Media Contact: Nicole Brooks
              Department of Education
              902-424-5432
              E-mail: brooksnl@gov.ns.ca