School Mental Health Communications Officer

School Mental Health Ontario (SMH-ON) works together with Ontario school districts to support student mental health.  As a provincial implementation support team, SMH-ON provides leadership, resources, implementation coaching and a community of practice in order to promote the uptake and sustainability of evidence-based culturally-responsive practices in school mental health.  SMH-ON serves the 72 English and French school boards in Ontario, remote school authorities, and provincial demonstration schools.  The team works alongside the Ministry of Education and has a role within the wider system of care, linking with partner ministries and organizations to advance child and youth mental health.  

We are currently seeking a full-time School Mental Health Communications Officer to support timely communication with key stakeholder audiences.  In addition to building understanding and engagement related to student mental health through clear and responsive messaging, the successful candidate will use a range of vehicles and tactics to facilitate dissemination of related SMH-ON tools and resources.   With a strong sense of the intersection of equity, mental health and communication, the School Mental Health Communications Officer will help to ensure that SMH-ON resources are accessible and relevant for all education audiences.

At SMH-ON, we recognize diversity as a source of organizational strength.  We welcome applications from those who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing student mental health with clear focus on human rights, and on reducing disproportionality and disparity in outcomes.  Those with experience in serving racialized communities, and those with identities that have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, will bring particular assets that are highly valued within the organization.

School Mental Health Communications Officer

Contract position to August 31, 2021, with extension contingent on needs

Role includes, but is not limited to:

  1. Co-develop, coordinate, and implement communication strategies that support awareness and broad reach of SMH-ON messaging, resources, and training opportunities, and advance the work of board mental health leadership teams.
  2. Consolidate communication processes for internal, school board, partner, and public audiences and maintain the structures and protocols that ensure timely and reliable bi-directional communication.  This includes ongoing website enhancements and updates, coordination of regular newsletters to school board and partner/subscriber audiences, maintenance of the SMH-ON Leadership Portal, etc.
  3. Prepare written communication and other content, in collaboration with SMH-ON team members (e.g., blog posts, articles, social media content, infosheets).  Assist with revisions to existing content as culturally-responsive reviews and evidence updates are conducted.
  4. Support the content development and architecture of a student-facing school mental health webspace, in collaboration with the Student Engagement Team, ThriveSMH student reference group members, and other stakeholders.
  5. Manage a variety of time-sensitive projects that require creative and systematic communication using a range of media.  Coordinate inputs related to web design, graphic design, video production, translation, etc. to ensure high-quality, brand-sensitive, AODA-compliant, bilingual resources that are relevant and responsive for all Ontario school boards and students.
  6. Provide consultation related to methods for encouraging sustained uptake of high-yield practices and programming in school mental health.  
  7. Help with internal team communication processes and supports that can assist with coherence and integration across our growing mandate.  Build on the strengths of the team, and help SMH-ON to maintain our spirit of trust, passion, and generosity as our complement grows.  


  1. Bachelor’s Degree or Diploma in communications, journalism, public relations or related field, or equivalent education and experience.
  2. Minimum of five years’ experience as a communications and public relations professional, ideally gained in a Canadian school board or mental health services setting.  
  3. Interest in, and understanding of, the role of schools in supporting student mental health.  Strong experience and confidence with communication and issues management focused on mental health and mental illness.  Appreciation for the sensitivities involved, and the need for personal resiliency when dealing with difficult topics.
  4. Demonstrated competence with the development and execution of effective and targeted communication plans. Excellent project coordination skills, with strong ability to anticipate needs and to draw in specific expertise as need to meet demanding timelines.   
  5. Strong technical skills across a variety of media.  The ability to optimize web and other digital platforms to advance messaging and resource dissemination is an essential part of this role.  Experience working with WordPress, and email marketing tools such as Active Campaign, is required.  Knowledge of google analytics and methods for optimizing uptake of mental health information ensures ongoing quality improvement, a key driver for SMH-ON.  Comfort with web meeting and webinar formats for communication with stakeholders.
  6. Strong writing, editing, and proofreading skills.  Experience writing for a range of education audiences is an asset.  Writing samples will be requested from those short-listed for an interview.
  7. Experience working with racialized, marginalized, and equity-seeking groups. Strong understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-racist practices and how communication can serve to advance equity and mental health.
  8. Highly developed interpersonal skills with the ability to build collaborative working relationships and to provide exemplary service to internal and external stakeholders.
  9. Excellent oral and visual presentation skills are critical for success in this role. Bilingualism (English/French) is an asset.
  10. Accreditation in Public Relations (APR) or similar is an asset

Deadline for submission is 4:00 p.m. on February 26, 2020.

Please apply to:  and include the position title you are applying for in the subject line of your email.

Applicants are thanked in advance for their interest; however, only those who have been short-listed for an interview will be contacted.  Accommodation for applicants is available in the recruitment process.  All interviews will be held virtually by web meeting.