What to do if you’re concerned
Remember, it’s not your role to diagnose a mental health or substance use problem. When you notice and document your observations, and connect in a caring and non-judgmental way, you can help the student get the support they need.
When to take action
- You’ve noticed changes in day-to-day functioning.
- The signs of difficulty seem severe or prolonged.
- The student or their family has expressed concern.
What to do
- Follow your school board’s protocol for accessing mental health support. This may include
- consulting with your principal, vice-principal or member of your school’s mental health leadership team
- discussing your observations with the student and/or their parent/guardian
- a referral for professional mental health support from school board personnel (e.g., school social worker or school psychologist)
- a referral for professional mental health support within the community
You are a critical part of the support process because you help with early identification. You will remain part of the student’s circle of support as they move to, through, and from professional mental health services.
Depending on the student’s needs, some or all of the practices listed above may be helpful. Working closely with the student, their family, and mental health professionals within the circle of support is the best way to ensure that classroom support meets the student’s mental health needs.
To summarize, if you are concerned about a student in your class, follow your school/board service pathways process. Not sure about the process? Ask your principal or contact your board mental health leader for more information.