Adolescent Mental Health Literacy Program

On October 18th 2011, Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences (Ontario Shores) unveiled a campaign to introduce mental health curriculum into high schools and increase awareness of adolescent mental illness to the communities it serves.

In partnership with school boards and Dr. Stanley Kutcher, Ontario Shores organized training for educators, teachers, and support staff to help deliver adolescent mental health literacy to four school boards including, Durham District School Board, Durham Catholic District School Board, the Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board and the Peterborough, Victoria, Northumberland and Clarington Catholic District School Board. Seventeen schools from those boards are piloting this program. Ontario Shores will be looking to expand this curriculum across the province.

“We were extremely pleased to see the overwhelming support and eagerness from school boards to make this happen,” said Ontario Shores Board Chair Michael Nettleton. “Our board believes very strongly in the need for education that will support early diagnosis and support for young people dealing with any form of mental illness.”

The comprehensive curriculum was previously developed by leading adolescent psychiatrist Dr. Stanley Kutcher and the Canadian Mental Health Association. Ontario Shores, in arranging the largest roll out of this curriculum, funded the training and materials to the school boards. While in Whitby, Dr Kutcher provided training to both educators and primary health care physicians and workers.

“Proactively addressing youth mental health and early effective intervention for youth mental disorders is a responsibility that young people, parents and all those who work with youth collectively share,” says Dr. Kutcher. “This partnership between Ontario Shores and the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health is designed to help young people, parents, educators and primary care health providers enhance their abilities to work together to improve mental health and more effectively treat mental disorders so that young people can have better opportunities to be as successful as they can be.”

Training has expanded to more school boards throughout Ontario and to date more than 500 educators and healthcare professionals attended training sessions to support the launch of this program.

For more information on the program or to purchase a copy of the curriculum guide please contact:
Bob Heeney
905.430.4055 ext. 6014

Ontario Shores Foundation for Mental Health would like to thank The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Scotiabank and Green Shield Canada for their support of the Adolescent Mental Health Literacy Program. 

If you are interested in supporting mental health education, please contact Paula Arscott, Director, Fundraising, 905.430.4055, ext 6027.


To order posters contact:
Bob Heeney
905.430.4055 ext. 6014