Talking About Mental Health: September 2016

Throughout the school year, Dr. Lynn Woodford shares tips and resources for improving our mental health and well-being. Additional mental health resources for students and parents/guardians can be found on the board website.

Hope that you had a good summer and enjoyed some fun, relaxation and down time. As the children and youth get ready to head back to school, it is important to plan a mentally healthy school year. Some simple steps will help to make this year more positive and less stressful.

Start each day with a positive thought

  • “Today is going to be a good day”
  • “I am going to have a good day”
  • “I can do this”
  • “I have what it takes”
  • “I feel happy”
  • “I am strong”

Practice relaxation

  • Start the day with some body stretches
  • Take three deep breaths each time you go through a doorway
  • Be present: Notice 3 things you can see, hear and touch
  • Tense and relax your muscles, releasing tension in your body
  • Imagine a place that makes you feel relaxed

Take breaks before you are stressed

  • Walk to school
  • Get outside at lunch or breaks
  • Listen to music to relax
  • Eat a good breakfast and lunch
  • Hang out with your friends
  • Think of 3 things you are grateful for

Seek support

  • Talk to your family or friends
  • At elementary school, talk to a teacher, principal, or child & youth counsellor (CYC)
  • At high school, talk to a teacher, principal, VP, guidance, student success, social worker, CYC, or nurse
  • Call KidsHelpPhone at 1 800 668 6868. Online at
  • Talk to your family doctor
  • Contact community mental health services:

Canadian Mental Health Association WW (CMHAWW)
Tuesday Walk In - 1:30-7:00, 485 Silvercreek Parkway, Guelph
To access services for Children, Youth and Adults in Guelph/Wellington
1 844 HERE 247 (1 844 437 3247)

Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS)
Tuesday Talk In – 1:00-7:00 pm, 655 Riddell Road, Orangeville
To access services for Children and Youth in Dufferin: 519 941 1530

Family Counselling and Support Services
Walk-in, Wednesday, 1-7, sliding scale, based on ability to pay, but will not turn anyone away.

Have a wonderful and mentally healthy school year!

Dr. Lynn Woodford is the Mental Health and Addiction Lead for the Upper Grand District School Board. Follow Lynn on Twitter @drlynnwoodford