I came across this link today on a Facebook page: http://www.sd43.bc.ca/District/Departments/StudentSupportServices/Pages/PositiveMentalHealth.aspx
It’s a link for the “Positive Mental Health Resources” that are available for students in the SD43 to access. This is the school district that my son was a part of from Kindergarten through to his death when he was in grade 11. The same school district that has yet to respond to an email I sent to his previous Principal (and 3 Vice-Principals) in June, outlining my feelings on how his passing was handled with regards to school notification and student resources… but that’s another entry to be written….
My initial thought when I clicked on the link and scrolled down through the numerous resources was one of disbelief and hope. I know that this hadn’t been on the website when I was looking for how to help Willie in late 2011. Hope that now it appears they have done some work towards making a change that will help students in need.
As I clicked on a couple of links I tried to get back to the main listing but I couldn’t remember what the main “tab” was that it had been on. I tried “Resources” as that seemed the most obvious to me… nope, wasn’t there. I tried “Programs” next … nope, not there… I tried “Schools”, nope, not there either. Finally I went through the “District Office” tab, found a “Student Services” link on the sidebar and that led me to a page where there still wasn’t the listing that I was originally on. Becoming frustrated now I noticed a link on that page for “Information for Staff and Parents”… I click on that and another sidebar comes up…. ah, one of them says “Mental health” click on THAT and voila! The page is there!
Well, of course! If I was a student searching for resources to help me with mental health issues I would most certainly be searching under those tabs and clicking through links that are marked specifically for “staff and parents”… makes total sense…Very rarely do I use the term WTF?… but this is one of those times that it fits.
I applaud the fact that it looks like there is more out there for kids who need it but one of the biggest problems is navigating your way to help when you need it most. It needs to be easy and simple and accessible. This is anything but. It’s a start, now make it better.