Mental health issues have significantly affected my family, and millions of Canadians. My children just finished Kindergarten and Grade 2. As a father of two, I know how challenging COVID has been for parents. Some of us have been laid off, or had hours reduced at work. Still, we have tried to hold it all together while our kids are in school online.
I know this pandemic was very hard on children. Kids were not been able to celebrate birthdays like before with their grandparents. They couldn't go to indoor playgrounds. They missed playing with their hockey teams and gymnastics clubs. Kids didn't get to celebrate Christmas or Channukah or Eid or Easter with their extended families as they did in years past. The list goes on and on.
In Alberta schools, most mental health funding comes from Alberta Education's Specialized Learning Supports (SLS) Grant. Currently, the EPSB uses this funding to employ 6 Mental Health Therapists, 9 Mental Health Consultants and 12 Wellness Coaches. However, there are many children who still need mental health supports.
“I know how difficult this pandemic has been on our children. I will use my leadership to fight for more mental health supports for our students."