Manitoba education minister announces $1 million in mental health supports

The province is spending more than $1 million in additional education mental health supports, Manitoba education minister Cliff Cullen announced Tuesday.

The money will fund what the province is calling a “continuum of mental-health supports for students, teachers and staff, including $380,000 to the Canadian Mental Health Association to provide support to the education workforce, $40,000 to provide SafeTalk training and resources — based around suicide prevention and intervention —  for 50 teachers, and $150,000 tow pilot projects that engage local elders and knowledge keepers in schools.

Other funding will allow for expansion of the Sources of Strength program, as well as professional development to address long-term trauma related to the pandemic.

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“The impacts of the pandemic are far reaching and continue to be a critical issue for schools, families and communities as students return to school this fall,” said Cullen.

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“These supports are in addition to the $2.5 million announced last year that was invested to support Manitoba students’ mental health during COVID-19.”

Marion Cooper, CEO of the Canadian Mental Health Association, said the funds will help to create and strengthen student and school wellness.

“Through this additional investment, we will work in partnership with school and division leaders and stakeholders to co-design tailored mental health resources that will be available to enhance the resilience and well-being of the employees of the education system in Manitoba,” Cooper said.

The press event comes a day before Manitoba students start heading back to school Sept. 8.

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