Ontario has allocated funding to place 180 mental health workers in public high schools.
The announcement was made on October 10, in honour of World Mental Health Day, that the province will fund $25 million to permanently staff mental health workers in schools.
These mental health workers will be social workers, psychologists, and psychotherapists, placed in order to help students increase their skills in mental and emotional health. The workers will be equipped with specialized training in student mental health, and all this is to reduce wait times and improve access to critical health. Their on-duty date is yet to be announced.
This initiative happened following the murder of 14-year-old Devan Bracci-Selvey, a Hamilton student who died after intense bullying and harassment from peers. The announcement reports that, according to survey findings, 70 per cent of mental health and addiction issues begin in childhood or adolescence and one in five students in grades 7 to 12 rated their mental health as fair to poor.
In other efforts, in August the government enhanced the health and physical education in elementary schools, to provide students with a more comprehensive approach to mental health, and emotional and social learning.