Opinion, Well-being

“Schools aren’t mental health treatment facilities – Educators need more support”

EdCan Network 2017 Symposium


Toronto – September 19, 2017 – Education leaders from across Canada will gather in Toronto for the Educator Well-Being: A Key to Student Success symposium from October 5-6 to discuss how they can create a climate that supports well-being for all.

The EdCan Network is concerned that the steep hike in reported cases of student anxiety[1] and suicidal ideation[2] is creating stress and emotional exhaustion among teachers.[3] Schools aren’t mental health treatment facilities principals and teachers cannot be expected to shoulder the entire burden.They can, however, be an important part of the solution.[4]

Registration spaces are still open. This is an essential opportunity for School Board Mental Health Leads and Administrators, Guidance Counsellors, Principals and Community Health and Social Workers to shift the conversation from ‘fixing symptoms’ to addressing how we can proactively support our educators to develop wellness within entire school community cultures.

“In today’s world, classrooms don’t turn off at the 3:00 p.m. bell,” says Darren Googoo, Incoming Chair of the EdCan Network. “Education leaders have roles to play in providing safe zones for teachers and principals to navigate their own journey to well-being and continue a long career.”

Through this symposium’s hands-on group discussions and case study presentations, leading experts will explore what it means to embed well-being in diverse school and community contexts. Participants will return with new ideas for building resiliency in themselves, their colleagues and their students.

For more information about the Educator Well-Being: A Key to Student Success symposium, please visit: www.edcan.ca/well-being and follow #EdCan on Twitter @EdCanNet.


With over 125 years of experience as the leading independent national voice in Canadian K-12 education, the Canadian Education Association is proud to launch the EdCan Network to support the thousands of courageous educators working tirelessly to ensure that all students discover their place, purpose and path.


[1] R.C. Kessler, P. Berglund, O. Demler et al, “Lifetime Prevalence and Age-of-Onset Distributions of DSM-IV Disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication,” Archives of General Psychiatry 62, no. 6 (2005): 593-602. See also: Health Behaviours in School Aged Children, Ontario 2014 data, and The Mental Health and Well-Being of Ontario Students, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 2016.

[2] Findlay, L.,“Health Reports: Depression and suicidal ideation among Canadians aged 15 to 24,” Statistics Canada (2017).

[3] D.M. Rothi, G. Leavey, and R. Best, “On the Front-Line: Teachers as active observers of pupils’ mental health,” Teaching and Teacher Education 24 (2008).

[4] Kenneth Leithwood et al., “School Leaders’ Influences on Student Learning: The four paths,” in The Principles of Educational Leadership and Management, eds. T. Bush, L. Bell, and D. Middlewood (London: Sage, 2012), p.1.


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For more information:

Max Cooke

EdCan Network Director of Communications

416-427-6454 mcooke@edcan.ca @max_cooke