Making Connections 2018:
Let’s focus on mental health, not mental illness
Students’ mental health has an impact on both their education and their long-term success. Parents, educators, and the Ministry of Education have recognized that schools play a central role in supporting student mental wellbeing. In this interactive session, participants found out more about what schools and school boards are doing to promote mental health and wellbeing for students and staff.
Christine Preece has over 25 years of experience working in the health and education sector. She is the Mental Health and Wellbeing Systems Lead for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board, and is the Co-Chair of the Ontario Healthy Schools Coalition, an Ontario-wide, broad-based coalition, with members from public health units, school boards, hospitals, mental health agencies, universities, health-related organizations, education-related organizations, and parent and student organizations. She is also a member of the healthy schools advisory committee for Physical and Health Education Canada. Christine previously worked as a Manager of the Young Adult Team at the Middlesex London Health Unit. In this role, she was team leader for nurses, dietitians and health promoters in facilitating the development, implementation and evaluation of school health initiatives. Christine has a Masters of Health Studies degree focused on holistic health, and has applied much of her learnings to her daily work. She is also an experienced practitioner in the area of youth engagement. In 2017, Christine obtained her Masters of Certified Health Education Specialist. Christine believes that holistic health is foundational to student learning.
Christine on public education:
“Education is knowledge and knowledge is power. Having public education that is provided to people from all walks of life, regardless of their background, gender, culture or beliefs, is essential for developing a healthy society. Those that do not have a chance to receive quality education during their childhood and teen years are less likely to succeed in their adult life. Ontario has one of the best public education systems in the world and my hope is that the strategies that have made this happen will continue for years to come.”