Northland School Division (NSD) has been awarded a mental health grant from Alberta Education. The funding is part of a grant program that will support 60 mental health pilots across Alberta.
With the funding in place, NSD will begin recruiting two new mental health therapists and implementing a whole-school approach to becoming more trauma-informed.
To facilitate this trauma-informed approach, current mental health staff will be trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) by a registered psychologist. EMDR enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are a result of traumatic events. Mental health staff will use this knowledge to educate staff about trauma.
Staff will learn to be more supportive of trauma and the various impacts it has on NSD students and their families.
“If we want students to achieve academic success, we need to ensure they are healthy,” said Cathy Wanyandie, Board Chair. “Inter-generational trauma, the after-effects of wildfires/flooding, and the impacts of COVID-19 are just some of the challenges students and families face. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I want to thank Alberta Education for supporting NSD and making mental health a priority.”
Funding for mental health pilots will be in place until December 2024.