Mental Health Supports for Students and Staff

Summer 2020 Transition Toolkit



School Mental Health Ontario (SMHO)


School Mental Health Ontario will be providing school boards with a professional learning framework and toolkit with specific resources to support the mental health of students, families and staff. Once released, we will be posting this toolkit on this page.


Student Mental Health and Well-Being​

  • ​We have developed a Summer 2020 Transition Resource Toolkit with a list of resources/links to support student and family well-being as we transition into the 2020-2021 school year. ​
  • We have revised our process to accommodate the COVID-19 service delivery model/virtual tele-practice. ​
  • We will implement a tiered approach for mental health supports to address all student needs and target intensive help to students who are most affected.  ​

Staff Mental Health and Well-Being​

  • Professional learning, tools and resources will be provided for system leaders, educators and mental health professionals to support the transition back to school and throughout the school year.​
  • A Staff Wellness Committee will be established at each school and work site that connects with a system Wellness Committee. ​
  • Ongoing promotion of Employee Assistance Program (EAP) resources and supports for staff. ​
  • Establish points of contact for Catholic Family Services for staff members wishing to seek out support.​

Supports and Resources for Families​

  • ​A Summer 2020 Transition Resource Toolkit developed with a list of resources/links to support student and family well-being as we transition into the 2020-2021 school year. ​
  • Schools will create structured social opportunities for families to come together in community.  ​
  • Developing a Video Series (for parents and students) on a wide range of topics including: Mental Health, Anti-Black Racism, Equity and Diversity Awareness, Anti-bullying, Healthy Eating/Living, Social Media Awareness, Drug/Alcohol Use. ​

Mental Health Tips & Resources for HCDSB Families

Ongoing news coverage about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) may be upsetting for many children, youth and families in our community. Our HCDSB Mental Health Leadership Team has compiled a list of tips and resources to help you and your child feel safe during this time of uncertainty.

Speaking with Children about COVID-19

Key messages for supporting children include:

  • Reassure your child(ren) that they are safe.
  • Provide extra emotional support (attention and affection).
  • Minimize their exposure to media coverage of the events.
  • Talk calmly about the events, and answer any questions they might have at a good level for their age (not too much detail, especially for younger children).
  • Look for signs that your child is struggling (e.g., nervousness, irritability, problems eating or sleeping), and check in with a professional if you are worried.

Community Resources

In addition, parents may want to further explore the following resources in our community:

Videos by HCDSB Social Workers

HCDSB Social Workers have posted videos on YouTube covering a number of important topics aimed to help our students, parents/families, and staff. Click the links below to launch each playlist.

Be sure to check the description of each video for additional resources and links.

Creative Design OfficerMental Health Supports for Students and Staff