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Mental Health Support in Elementary Schools

Mental health liaison nurses service students in kindergarten to grade 8. Their goal is to provide comprehensive mental health care by working closely with schools, students, parents, and community agencies to meet the mental health needs of each child and their family.

Mental health support services are:

  • free
  • confidential
  • offered to residents of Halton Region

By identifying youth at risk early on in the course of mental health problems, treatment and recovery happen more quickly. For some youth, consultation with the MHLN is the first point of access to the mental health care system.

Mental Health Liaison Team services

  • Mental health assessment
  • Consultation with parents, schools, and health professionals to access timely mental health services
  • Short-term intervention
  • Referral to appropriate health care services and community resources
  • Establish connections between student, family, school community, and other professionals
  • Mental health promotion activities

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Referrals

To make a referral:

  • Consult with your in-school mental health supports (principal, child and youth counsellor, social worker) to access MHLN services.
  • Parents can dial 311 to speak with a public health nurse and access information about the Mental Health Liaison Team.

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Early intervention

Mental health problems are emotional, behavioural and brain-related disturbances that interfere with development, personal relationships, and functioning in daily life. Intervention is needed when changes persist and interfere with the child’s development and progress at school.

  • School staff are often the first to notice a mental health problem
  • Teachers play a key role in early identification & connecting children to support
  • Early intervention can minimize further disruptions in the child’s school work and social emotional development
  • Working together with families will promote treatment and recovery for children and youth with mental health disorders

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Normal behaviour or mental health concern?

Watch these videos:

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When to seek help

Parents and teachers should seek help when a child/student shows these signs:

  • not interested in school and/or school avoidance
  • worrying constantly
  • lacking energy or motivation
  • declining school performance
  • having difficulty managing their emotions
  • disconnected from friends, family and activities they used to enjoy
  • having difficulty making and keeping friends
  • hitting or bullying other children
  • thoughts of suicide or self-harm

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Promoting positive mental health at school

Schools are an optimal setting to:

  • identify students in need
  • build pathways to care
  • develop student social-emotional skills and resilience
  • prevent mental health problems in high risk groups
  • promote positive mental health and well-being for all students
  • reduce stigma

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Visit halton.ca/schoolhealth for information on building a healthy school community.

Healthy minds

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