How to Work With Your School to Access Support for Your Child’s Mental Health
In Ontario, schools are the most common place where children and youth access mental health supports. You can work with your school to help make sure your child gets the support they need.
Educators and other school staff are trained on how to create mentally healthy classrooms and how to recognize when a student may be struggling and in need of additional help. Early identification of mental health concerns can help prevent future problems.
If you’re concerned about your child’s mental health, you can speak to your child’s classroom teacher.
Be specific about your concerns so you and the teacher can figure out the best way to help. Share any information you think may be helpful to the teacher–for example:
situations your child has dealt with that may impact their mental health
approaches that seem to help your child
specific behaviours you’re noticing
Ask the teacher what they’ve noticed at school. Some children may seem fine at school, but display different behaviours at home. Discuss what you’re seeing.
You can request a meeting with other school staff as well to talk through how to support your child. The teacher may suggest this too.
Ask about options for ongoing communication so you can share new information with the teacher.
Educators aren’t mental health professionals and can’t diagnose issues. But, they do have an important role in the circle of support for students and remain a vital part of the support team for students who are receiving treatment.