Grade Six/Seven/Eight students at Monsignor Leo Cleary Elementary School in Courtice are learning about mental health and about healthy ways to cope as part of a Deep Learning Inquiry project. They invited DMHS in to learn more about these topics.
Teacher Lisa Alves explains, “Their objective is to explore areas of interest and involve experts and community services to drive their learning. Students are recognizing the importance of teaching about mental health and coping strategies at a very early age. Students have learned that taking caring of their mind is just as important as taking care of their physical bodies. They enjoyed learning first hand from experts in the fields they focused on.”
Saoirse and Elizabeth focused their project on healthy and unhealthy coping strategies. Saoirse says, “We’ve learned a lot – the percentages of kids who use positive and negative coping skills to deal with stress, and why people sometimes choose those negative coping skills. We’ve looked at definitions of stress and what we can do about it.”
Elizabeth adds, “Sometimes the unhealthy coping skills are easier to use, but they can lead to problems like poor health, addiction and becoming isolated.”
When asked what they would say to someone concerned about their health, the students said “Using negative coping skills is not very good for you and you should stick to the positive skills.”
On May 11, students will share their learning with the school community (including parents), teaching about mental health and self-advocating for their personal wellness: mind, body and spirit.
For more information on DMHS mental health awareness resources, please contact DMHS Coordinator of Communications and Training David Clarke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 905-666-0831, ext. 3242.