#HearNowON 2021: Student Voices on Mental Health – Final Report
In 2021, School Mental Health Ontario partnered with Wisdom2Action (W2A) to relaunch #HearNowON to gather input from secondary school students across Ontario about their priorities for mental health learning and programming in their school communities.
Through an online survey and virtual forums, we gathered input from more than 2,400 secondary school students across the province.
School Mental Health Ontario gathered this information with the purpose to inform strategic directions, emphasizing the value of centering student voice and perspectives.
#HearNowON for 2021: Voice Over Script School Mental Health Ontario, in partnership with Wisdom2Action, relaunched #HearNowON for 2021 to hear from secondary school students across Ontario about their ideas for:
- building mental health knowledge and supports with their peers;
- ideas on how school communities can adopt an equity-based approach to school mental health, and lastly,
- how to inspire secondary students to get involved in initiatives that support student mental health and wellness.
Over two thousand, four hundred secondary students in Ontario completed the bilingual online survey. Students across the province also participated in five virtual forums. These are a few points that they shared:
- Students discussed wishing that they learned about mental health when they were younger.
- 82 percent of students indicated that they were not involved in mental health initiatives at their school, while 70 percent indicated that they wanted to get involved.
- In addition, students prioritized the following topics for school mental health planning:
- Informed Educators,
- Equitable Mental Health, and
- Student Engagement.
Lastly, students helped to inform five recommendations to guide the work of School Mental Health in Ontario for the years to come:
- Students want their teachers, their parents/caregivers and families, to learn more about mental health.
- Students want to learn about mental health at school, and prefer that this learning be frequent, early, and varied.
- Students want greater access to tools and resources to support their mental health, cope with stress and navigate peer support safely.
- Students want strong equity-based and culturally-responsive mental health resources and support.
- Students want leadership opportunities to be more accessible to every student, and to create space for different leadership styles.
Visit the School Mental Health Ontario website for the full report and executive summary to learn more about what students across Ontario want for school mental health support, programming and services.
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Did you know? 82% of students indicated they were not involved in mental health initiatives at their school, while 70% wanted to get involved.