According to the Mood Disorders Society of Canada, "Mental illness is a serious
disturbance in thoughts, feelings and perceptions that is severe enough to affect
A common figure often given by health authorities is that 1 in 5 Canadians suffer
from a mental illness, with names such as schizophrenia, depression, anxiety
disorders and eating disorders. Even young children can have mental health issues
and this is something that the Ontario Ministry of Education and school boards are
recognizing more each year, and working at addressing.
While teachers are not trained to diagnose mental health disorders, they are
receiving more information and training around recognizing symptoms of mental
illness in children. Once a child’s situation has been diagnosed by a health care
professional, they usually provide families and the school’s teachers with
strategies to help a child cope at home and in the educational setting. In addition,
at Burkevale, we often consult with community organizations, such as KINARK, to
receive extra mental health support for students and their families.
Finally, parents have access to excellent resources from the Canadian Mental
Health Association, on topics such as Children and …..Attention Deficit Disorders,
Depression, Family Breakup, Self-Esteem, and Fears, on their website at:
Together, parents, educators and the community must work together to improve
the mental well being of society’s children.
Tim Mallon, Principal