Canada must increase funding to enhance and improve access to mental health resources, supports and services to assist students, teachers and other education workers.
Why is mental health an issue in K-12 public education?
Mental health issues affect both students and teachers. While access to mental health supports for students is a human rights issue, teacher access to mental health supports and services is a labour rights issue. Students require access to age-appropriate psycho-social supports, while teachers need to effectively manage and recognize mental health issues in student populations, and, at the same time, manage their own well-being.
Only 1 out of 5 students who need mental health services receives them. Many teachers believe stigma and discrimination pose a major barrier to the provision of those needed mental health services. Teachers also recognize that language and cultural barriers in diverse student populations are additional barriers faced by children and youth.[i] Most teachers have not received professional development in the area of student mental health or teacher mental health.