Updates to the Identity-Affirming School Mental Health Frame
Last fall SMH-ON introduced the Identity-Affirming School Mental Health Frame for Reflection and Action. The Frame was developed to help guide school boards as they thoughtfully reflect and plan resources and supports for their respective communities to meet the unique mental health needs of every student.
Throughout the process of development, including through the launch, SMH-ON has continued to consult and engage with many of you and other key collaborators, to ensure the Frame will best meet the needs of boards. As a result of this ongoing consultation, the Frame has been updated to reflect the feedback gathered.
In the previous iteration of the IA-SMH Frame, reconciliation and equity were represented as the ‘seeds’; and anti-oppressive practices, cultural humility, decentring whiteness and centring Black and Indigenous perspectives were represented as the ‘roots’ – this tied the Frame into an unnecessary planting analogy, and felt very linear and layered.
In the latest version, we have moved away from separate sections of ‘seeds’ and ‘roots’, and inserted those areas within the domains of the frame. These updates include:
- Surrounding ‘Every Student’ in the centre of the School Mental Health Strategy, and the Identity-Affirming School Mental Health Frame is now Commitments to Truth and Reconciliation, and Equity – in the previous iteration, this read ‘differentiated and identity-affirming supports’ Differentiated and identity-affirming supports was and remains now included in the ‘Respond’ domain of the frame.
- We have embedded what was formerly referred to as in the roots directly into the domains for action.
- Dismantle and remove oppression and racism WITH anti-oppressive and anti-racist practices.
- Engage and partner with students, parents/caregivers, and community, WITH cultural humility.
- Amplify diverse student, parent/caregiver, and community perspectives BY decentring whiteness
- In order to continue to Respond with differentiated and identity-affirming mental health supports
The intention of these updates is to provide a more intuitive version for stakeholders, that we hope will make it easier to understand by explicitly referencing all elements of the Frame and ensuring they are visually represented within the Frame graphic.