Mental Health for Parents
If this is an emergency, call 911. If you or someone you know is in crisis or needs help:
- Guelph/Wellington: 1 844 437 3247 (HERE247)
- Dufferin: 519 941 1530 (DCAFS)
- KidsHelpPhone: 1 800 668 6868
- Compass Community Services LGBTQ+ Support Line: 226 669 3760 (call or text – free and confidential emotional support)
- Compass Community Services Walk-In Counselling: Information is available here https://compasscs.org/ or at this link
The UGDSB has launched a new parent/guardians website, focusing on child, youth and family mental health and well-being.
Visit the new website at www.ugdsb.ca/mhugparents
Student Mental Health and Well-being Strategy
The 2023-2026 Strategic Framework for Student Mental Health and Well-being is available by clicking here: Student Mental Health and Well-being Strategy (PDF)
Mental Health Resources and Information for Parents/Guardians in the UGDSB
- Mental Health Strategy & Action Plan
- Wellness Works Newsletters
- Access to Mental Health Support
- Mental Health at UGDSB
- Websites & Apps
- Talking to Students About Tragic Events
Ensuring positive student mental health is a shared responsibility of students, staff, parents/guardians and community partners. As part of the provincial Open Minds, Healthy Minds Mental Health Strategy, our board’s Mental Health and Addiction Lead works with stakeholders within our board and in our community, to promote: mentally healthy schools; student mental well being; educator mental health awareness and knowledge; evidence based prevention programs; and clear pathways to care.
We hope the following resources and information will help support mental health and well-being in children, youth and families.
Throughout the school year, UGDSB Mental Health and Addiction experts share tips and resources for improving our mental health and well-being. Click the links below to read more about mental health and well-being in UGDSB schools.
- September 10 is World Suicide Prevention Day. Learn more including accessing resources, here.
- Wellness Works: May 2023 - Self Compassion
- Wellness Works: April 2023 is all about Gratitude
- Wellness Works: This month’s theme is empathy
- Wellness Works: November's theme is authenticity
- Wellness Works: October’s theme is cognitive flexibility
- Wellness Works: Welcome Back!
- YouthTALK invites secondary students to attend Wellness Works session on reflection
- Wellness Works: May’s theme is integrity
- Wellness Works: Learning to be more authentic
- March’s Wellness Works theme is self compassion
- This month’s Wellness Works explores Realistic Optimism
- This month’s Wellness Works explores the theme of empathy
- December Wellness Works: Gratitude – more than just good manners
Talking About Mental Health
- Talking About Mental Health: November 2021 - Kindness
- Talking About Mental Health: October 2021 - Cognitive Flexibility
- Talking About Mental Health: June 2021 - Mastery
- Talking About Mental Health: May 2021 - Autonomy
- Talking About Mental Health: April 2021 - Intrinsic Motivation
- Talking About Mental Health: March 2021 - Mindfulness
- March 2021 - Translated to: (Arabic) (Nepali) (Spanish) (Vietnamese) (Tigrinya)
- Talking About Mental Health: February 2021 - Healthy Lifestyle (English)
- February 2021 - Translated to: (Tigrinya) (Vietnamese) (Arabic) (Nepali) (Spanish)
- Talking About Mental Health: January 2021 - Self Compassion (English)
- January 2021 - Translated to: (Tigrinya)
- Talking About Mental Health: October 2020 - Mentally Healthy Return to School
- Talking About Mental Health: June 2020 - Uncertainty, self care and community
- Talking About Mental Health: February 2020 - Stress and tests
- Talking About Mental Health: January 2020 – Starting the year mindfully
- Talking About Mental Health: December 2019 – Give the gift of resiliency
- Talking About Mental Health: November 2019 – Mental Health and Nature
- Talking About Mental Health: October 2019 – Managing all the stresses of back-to-school
- Talking About Mental Health: May 2019 – May 6-10 is Mental Health and Well-being Week
- Talking About Mental Health: April 2019 – Jump-start your brain this spring
- Talking About Mental Health: March 2019 – Random Acts of Kindness
- Talking About Mental Health: January 2019 – Getting outdoors this winter
- Talking About Mental Health: November 2018 – Spending time in nature
- Talking About Mental Health: October 2018 – Building resilience
- Talking About Mental Health: September 2018 – Heading back to school
- Talking About Mental Health: June 2018 – Having a successful shift from school to summer
- Talking About Mental Health: May 2018 – Child and Youth Mental Health and Well-being Week
Canadian Mental Health Association Waterloo Wellington Dufferin Branch (CMHA WWD)- formerly Trellis
To access services for Children & Youth in Guelph/Wellington and Adults in Guelph/Wellington/Dufferin for Addictions, Mental Health (including eating disorders and first episode psychosis) and Crisis Services contact:
- Here 24 7 at 1-844 437-3247 (1 844 HERE 24 7)
Walk in Services on Tuesdays for Children/Youth 1:30- 7:00 at 485 Silvercreek Pkwy, Guelph
For general information about CMHA WWD: 519-821-2060
Dufferin Child and Family Services (Children & Youth in Dufferin)
- To access Addictions, Mental Health and Crisis Services call 519-941-1530
- Talk in Services on Tuesdays 1:00- 7:00
- 655 Riddell Road, Orangeville
Additional information about Access to Mental Health Services: Dufferin-Guelph-Wellington (PDF)
Compass Community Services
- Walk-In Counselling Services: Information is available here https://compasscs.org/ or at this link
- Compass LGBTQ+ Youth Line (call or text) 226-669-3760
- Compass Guelph Wellington Distress Line 1-888-821-3760
- Compass Community Services - free, confidential, and anonymous listening for emotional support. Click here for contact info
- Compass Community Services - LGBTQ+ Support Line
The Upper Grand District School Board is committed to creating a welcoming, safe and inclusive learning environment that recognizes the essential connection between mental health and student achievement. The well-being of our students is a shared responsibility and we will ensure all stakeholders are able to collaborate in a coordinated, responsive and effective manner.
UGDSB Core Beliefs
- The connection between mental well-being and student achievement supports every student’s academic and personal success
- Well-being and positive mental health is a shared responsibility between students, staff, families and community
- Students will benefit from a collaborative and shared pathway of care
- A culture of caring and connectedness fosters positive student growth and achievement
- A safe, inclusive and equitable learning environment will enhance student success
There are child and youth counsellors in every elementary school as well as some secondary schools. Elementary schools also have access to counselling and attendance support. All secondary schools have a social worker assigned to them for counselling and attendance. In addition to these in-school supports, every school has a psychology and mental health consultant. The mental health staff work in partnership with special education, speech & language and administrators to support students and their families. Our mental health staff can also support connections to community agencies and referrals to treatment as needed.
If you have a question about what is available in your school please contact your administrator.
UGDSB Mental Health Websites
The Upper Grand's Mental Health parent website provides supports and resources for UGDSB parents/guardians and their children.
Mental Health & Me focuses on student mental health in the UGDSB and provides age appropriate supports and resources. UGDSB students must log into the site using their UGCloud account.
Mental Health and Addiction Websites
Kids Help Phone provides phone and web counselling for youth under the age of 20. Support is free, 24/7, anonymous and confidential.
Mind your mind is a place for youth and young adults to access info, resources and tools during tough times. Help Yourself. Help each other. Share what you live and know.
Self-injury Outreach and Support (SiOS) is part of collaboration between the University of Guelph and McGill University, a non-profit outreach initiative providing information and resources about self-injury to those who self-injure, those who have recovered, and those who want to help.
eMentalHealth provides mental health information sheets on a wide variety of topics of interest to youth, and also provides screening tools.
The ABCs of Mental Health provides information related to different mental health concerns, according to developmental ages. Also provides information to help determine the level of concern (green, yellow or red).
Children’s Mental Health Ontario provides resources about mental health and well-being.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) provides information about mental health and addictions including information for children and youth and parents.
Self/Peer Exploitation – It’s Not Okay: A Resource Guide for Families (PDF) offers practical guidance on the issue of “sexting” – youth creating, sending or sharing sexual images or videos with peers via the Internet or electronic devices.
Teen Suicide Prevention Video (YouTube). In this video created by the Mayo Clinic, teens describe common signs that a teen is considering suicide and provide encouragement for communicating directly and immediately for support and safety. It also Includes suggestions for what to say to a teen who may be at risk for suicide and ways to keep them safe. This is a U.S. video, so the number at the end is for the United States. In our area, please contact HERE247 (1 844 437 3247), DCAFS 519 941 1530 or KidsHelpPhone.ca 1 800 668 6868 if you or your child/teen needs someone to talk to.
Wellness Together Canada - Canada’s first and only online platform offering immediate mental health and substance use support for people of all ages.
Apps for Mental Health
Sadly, when tragic events happen here in Canada or around the world, we know that some students may experience a wide range of reactions and emotions.
Although events like this are rare, they can have an impact on each of us—our children, staff, families and friends. We all respond to situations like this in different ways. Some feel sadness or grief. Some feel anger or a sense of helplessness and anxiety. Whatever we feel is okay, and we want families to know support is available to help you and your children in these situations.
Tips for elementary students
- Recognize that children may become concerned that something bad will happen to them, their family or friends. Explain that safety measures are in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.
- If your child is not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. Try to avoid having detailed adult conversations regarding the tragedy in front of children. However, be available to answer questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or social interactions.
- Limit exposure to media and social media. Images of a disaster or crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Young children in particular may not be able to distinguish between images on television and their personal reality. Older children may choose to watch the news—be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.
- Maintain normal family routines as much as possible. Routine family activities, classes and friends can help children feel more secure.
- Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief and anger. Talking to friends, family members, faith leaders and mental health counsellors can help. Let your children know you are sad. You will be better able to support them if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.
Tips for secondary students
- Bring up the topic at a time and place where a discussion can occur. If there are distractions, a shortage of time or if either you or your teen is too tired or busy, it is likely the conversation will not be completed. If your teen is not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer questions to the best of your ability.
- It is normal for people to try to make sense of things when a serious loss occurs. Allow your teen to share their ideas and speculations. Help them to separate what they know from what they are guessing about.
- Limit exposure to media and social media. Images of a disaster or crisis can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Teenagers may choose to watch the news—be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.
- Maintain normal family routines as much as possible. Routine family activities, classes and friends can help children and teens feel more secure.
- Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief and anger. Talking to friends, family members, faith leaders and mental health counsellors can help.
- Let your teen know you are affected too. You will be better able to support them if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner.
As always, our top priority is the safety and well-being of each of our students—your children. It’s important for you to know help is available through our schools. If you are concerned about your child or feel they need additional support, and you would like to speak with a social worker or counsellor, please contact your school’s principal or vice-principal.