Ontario’s Students Need Real Mental Health Investment and Supports, Not More Government PR
“The growing mental health and well-being issues for students and educators are among the most significant and troubling long-term consequences of the pandemic. Catholic teachers, education unions, mental health experts, and Ontario’s education communities have repeatedly called on the Ford Conservative government to recognize the relationship between mental health and equitable student outcomes, and to provide the investments and resources necessary to address and meet students and educators’ needs.
If the Ford Conservative government was serious about addressing mental health concerns in our schools, then they would be making the mental health needs of students and educators the cornerstone of a robust, properly funded learning recovery plan. Instead, today’s announcement from Education Minister Stephen Lecce is yet another last-minute, underfunded plan, with future changes to curriculum, designed to create the appearance of action, launched directly to the media without consultation or collaboration with teachers and education stakeholders.
Time and again, research has repeatedly shown that there is a growing mental health crisis in our schools. Catholic teachers have long called for, and strongly support, making mental health a part of the curriculum, but it must be done properly and backed with enhanced mental health services in schools and expanded school-based resources and supports.
The path to supporting our students’ mental health and well-being, as well as their academic success, starts with a real plan, with significant and sustained investment.”
- Barb Dobrowolski, President of the Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association