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Talking about mental health in the classroom

Staff of St. Joseph’s school watch a presentation from the Ministry of Education during a recent professional development session focused on mental health in the classroom. Photo by Michael Christianson
Staff of St. Joseph’s school watch a presentation from the Ministry of Education during a recent professional development session focused on mental health in the classroom. Photo by Michael Christianson

By Michael Christianson

Staff at St. Joseph’s school got an opportunity at the end of April to attend a ‘Wellness Day’ at the school.

The day was centered around mental health in the classroom, both for teachers and students.

Joanna Querel, the Superintendent of Education for the Northwest District Catholic School Board, helped to organize the event around her mental health and wellness portfolio. She says the sessions at the Wellness Day will be beneficial for everyone.

“Today is a professional development day,” said Querel. “The Ministry of Education as one of their pillars now under the four pillars is well-being for staff and students so we know when staff are healthy and wise in that way it translates into the classroom.”

The day was highlighted by keynote speakers; Dr. Kathy Short did a presentation in the morning about mentally healthy schools and what that means for everyone.

The teachers then split off into different group sessions. Presenters from the Ministry of Education delivered talks about how learning happens and self-regulation. The team from Firefly was also on hand to do yoga sessions as well as talk about issues such as anxiety.

Querel said she hopes that everyone comes away from the day feeling refreshed and having a better understanding of wellness so that they can better support their students

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