TVDSB and LDCSB hold annual celebration for Mentally Healthy School Student Voice Contest

By: Nicole Bullock
Wednesday, May 3, 2017

TVDSB, LDCSB representatives

TVDSB, LDCSB representatives

Thames Valley District School Board (TVDSB) and London District Catholic School Board (LDCSB) wrapped up their annual Mentally Healthy School – Student Voice Contest with an awards celebration for participants, honourable mentions, finalists and winners on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

The Centre for School Mental Health is proud to work in partnership with the Mentally Healthy Schools contest and support the initiative as a sponsor.

Mental Health Leads Sandra Savage, LDCSB and Gail Lalonde, TVDSB describe the contest and event as both informative and inspiring for how students in the London and surrounding areas think about what it means to have mentally healthy schools. LDCSB Mental Health Lead Sandra Savage explains that “the Mentally Healthy Schools Contest provides an important opportunity each year for students to engage in open dialogue about mental health - a critical action in breaking down stigma about mental health.” In addition, as Gail Lalonde describes, “the contest provides the opportunity for students to express their vision of a mentally healthy school environment and empowers students to take an active role in not only their own wellbeing, but supporting the conditions necessary for well-being for all students.”

The contest is inclusive to both school boards and any students within, K-12, and asks the questions: “What does a Mentally Healthy School…look like? Sound like? Feel like?” with the freedom to portray messaging through video, artwork, poem, song, essay/story, or photography. “The contest is a wonderful example of the power and value of student voice” says Lalonde.

A cash prize is presented to each of the winners that is to go towards a mental health initiative within the students’ schools. “As the students create posters, poems, stories and videos, they are empowered to think about how they, their peers, their teachers and others can make their school a place that supports mental health and resiliency” says Savage.

“Each year we are so inspired by the students’ insights and ideas about creating mentally healthy schools!” says Savage. “We have learned so much from what the students have shared and continue to be inspired by their vision for our schools and communities” concludes Lalonde.

Congratulations to each of the contestants, finalists and winners, and to Mental Health Leads Sandra Savage and Gail Lalonde for continuing to make this contest an ongoing success!