School News

NGPS awarded Mental Health Capacity Building funding for new support team in Onoway schools!

In-house mental health and wellness supports for students, staff and families important part of NGPS vision

Funded by Alberta Health Services, and coordinated by Northern Gateway Public Schools (NGPS), the Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools initiative uses schools as hubs to provide promotion, prevention and early intervention services across the mental health continuum through collaborative networks with schools, communities and health providers.

“The work these teams do in schools is invaluable and we are excited to be one of the 18 Alberta school jurisdictions awarded a contract and funding this year," shared NGPS Superintendent, Kevin Andrea. "From classroom presentations, clubs and one-on-one programming, to connecting learners and families with community professionals and services, Mental Health Capacity Building teams support all learners and make a difference in our school communities every day. We look forward to developing this team in Onoway, and to their contribution to these school communities in the coming year.”

NGPS has two Mental Health Capacity Building teams already, operating the CHAMP Team (Choosing Healthy Attitudes through Modeling Pals) in Fox Creek and the TEAM for Success in Whitecourt. The yet to be named Onoway team will be the third mental health support team in the division and will increase and enhance these types of support for students in the east end of the division. 

Teams work with students of all ages to promote positive mental health and to help nurture and develop the skills required to be emotionally and mentally prepared and successful. Based on research and best practice that demonstrates that mental and emotional well-being can be developed, nurtured and supported through promotion and prevention efforts, these teams:

  • deliver mental health promotion and prevention programming including presentations to students, staff, parents and other community members that increase well-being, resilience, self-esteem, protective factors, promote early identification of issues and address risk factors;

  • build capacity in others who work with children, youth and families, to deliver wellness presentations and programming;

  • organize and facilitate school and community-wide Mental Health events and awareness campaigns (i.e. Pink Shirt Day, Hats on for Mental Health);

  • facilitate access for students to community supports and services

  • examples of supports include in-school clubs and workshops like Mental Health First Aid, Family Games Night, Mindful Walking, Community Gardens, Yoga for Anxiety and Chicks in Charge.

Check out the CHAMP Team Fox Creek and the Team for Success Whitecourt Facebook pages to learn more, and stay tuned for more information in the coming year!

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