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Mental Health Programs & Initiatives

Mental Health Programs & Initiatives

Tusk visits students

Mentally Healthy Classrooms 

The UCDSB is committed to creating mentally healthy classrooms that foster a sense of belonging and overall well-being. The Mental Health and Wellness team works with educators and administrators to support daily and school-specific mental health practices for implementation in their schools and classrooms.

Mindful Educators

Mindful Educators  

Education staff at the UCDSB engage in various professional development opportunities throughout the school year. This includes courses and training from Mindful Educators. It is the goal of the UCDSB for classrooms to have mindful, emotionally self-regulated educators who can create optimal learning conditions for students to reach their full potential. 

Real-world learning at the UCDSB

Real-World Learning 

The UCDSB offers students real-world learning opportunities in various Kindergarten to Grade 12 subjects, including mental health and wellness. Real-World learning opportunities help students to connect to the real world, be engaged, and learn deeply. Read more about real-world learning at the UCDSB.

Roots of Empathy

Roots of Empathy

The Roots of Empathy program is delivered in elementary classrooms by a trained instructor. The program provides children with an opportunity to connect with a baby who visits their classroom throughout the school year with their parent(s). The Roots of Empathy program has been shown to reduce aggression, increase sharing, caring, and inclusion, and promote resilience and overall well-being.



The Choices program is offered in partnership with RNJ Youth Services to students in Grade 7 and 8 in Lanark, Leeds and Grenville. The program focuses on learning how to make informed decisions regarding drugs and alcohol and developing positive coping strategies.



As part of the UCDSB’s suicide prevention strategy, UCDSB plans to offer safeTAlK workshops to staff and students (over the age of 15). Students who engage in the program will develop skills in recognizing signs of suicide, engaging with someone at risk and ensuring connection to safety.  

Calming space

Calming Spaces 

The UCDSB is supporting the creation and use of calming spaces within classrooms. A calming space is an area that students may choose to use within a classroom that contains materials and activities that can assist with self-regulation.

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Behaviour Management Systems (BMS)

The UCDSB offers each school staff training in Behaviour Systems Management to support the effective management of difficult student behaviours at school. The emphasis of the program is on calming and de-escalation strategies.

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Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST) 

The UCDSB ensures that each school has two staff certified in ASIST that are able to provide skilled suicide intervention and planning for safety for students in crisis. ASIST-trained staff utilize the Suicide Prevention, Intervention and Risk Review (SPIRR) protocol to assess risk and to inform next steps regarding intervention as well as follow-up care.

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