HPSD Receives Mental Health Grant

HPSD Receives Mental Health Grant
Posted on 01/06/2023
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High Prairie School Division is pleased to have been one of the successful recipients of a two-year Alberta Education Mental Health in Schools Pilot Program. The grant amount totals $177,000 over two years. We are excited at the opportunities for growth and positive change this grant will provide to our schools and communities. 

The grant application criteria were specific, including a partnership with an additional school authority, an innovative approach, and the identification and creation of access pathways between schools, communities, and regional supports and services. We were able to partner with another division in northern Alberta and utilize our current resources to create an innovative and timely program serving students across our region.

Using a workshop and capacity-building style, we will use the Mental Health in School Pilot Program grant to partner with Fort Vermilion School Division and incorporate trauma-informed best practices into our schools. Offering this specialized training to our current staff will ensure that these best practices are embedded into the schools' culture and day-to-day business in the long term. The grant will also allow us to extend these best practices to our community partners (coaches, organizations, services, workplaces, etc.), creating viable and sustainable community change.

We know that we have trauma in our communities, whether it’s from poverty, family breakdown, substance use, and addiction, effects of residential schools, social isolation, difficult living conditions, violence, loss and grief, or illness. All of these factors are trauma-inducing. Trauma-informed care is a wholistic way of working with people that considers the impacts of trauma on the whole person, including their emotional, spiritual, and physical self. This knowledge shifts the mentality of “what’s wrong with them” to “what happened to them” and how we can work together to help lessen the impacts of trauma symptoms in a person’s life.

The High Prairie School Division is dedicated to providing the best education possible to our students while at the same time meeting their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. This program will help ensure that our students receive daily exposure to the best practices that support their social and emotional development to the best of our ability. We are eager to build the capacity in our staff to deliver these universal supports.

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