Board Mental Health Resources

Student Support Services

Student Support Services is a team of of Child and Youth Workers (CYWs) and Social Workers who are trained to work with students individually, in groups, or in classroom settings on emotional, social, and/or behavioural issues, which are affecting their academic achievement and well-being.

For individual and group work, input and consent from the caregiver and student is required, and depending on need, either the school social worker or the CYW may be assigned. This decision is determined in consultation with members from the school team, Student Support Services, and the Board Mental Health Lead or Senior Social Worker.


How does a student get referred for school-based mental health services?

Students and/or caregivers are encouraged to speak with their child’s teacher if they have concerns about social, emotional, or behavioural needs that are impacting their school functioning. At times, the teacher may be the one who reaches out to the caregiver if they have noticed changes or challenges for the student. Together, the caregiver and teacher can determine if further intervention is needed. From there, the teacher may involve the principal, guidance counsellor or Special Education Resource Teacher (SERT) who, with consent from the caregiver and/or student, may make a referral to consult with the Student Support Services School Team. The consultation may result in intervention or support from the Child and Youth Worker, Social Worker or recommendations for community supports.

What can be expected from school-based mental health services?

Individual school-based mental health support services are short term (four to six sessions), aimed at enhancing student success.

Child and Youth Workers (CYWs) focus on Social Emotional Learning opportunities and skill building in the life space of the student.

Social Workers provide support and counselling services to address the main area of concern. Priorities for these services are school-based anxiety and mental health that impacts student school functioning.

The caregiver and student will assist with creating specific goals. If the student requires more intensive and/or specialized services, Student Support Services staff can help with referrals to community services. 

What can be expected from school-based group services?

At times, it can be beneficial to group students together who are experiencing similar social, emotional, and behavioural challenges, in order to normalize feelings and practice problem solving and skill building. In these cases, caregiver consent is required and the CYW or Social Worker will provide evidence informed programming to address the group’s needs.

What can be expected from classroom sessions?

CYWs or Social Workers may provide psycho-educational sessions in classrooms where they are invited by the teacher and/or principal in order to enhance the social emotional learning outcomes of students. In these cases, caregivers may be informed of Student Support Services involvement with the class, however consent is not required.

Trust and Confidentiality

Information shared by students through individual or group counselling is kept confidential as required by the Personal Health Information Protection Act and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, with a few exceptions. Student Support Services staff are required to share information with parents and others if the child is at risk to harm themselves or others. Additionally, we have a duty to report if a child discloses abuse as outlined in the Child, Youth and Family Services Act.

Should you have any questions, contact the Board Mental Health Lead, Dianne Wdowczyk-Meade:

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