The ministers of education and of post-secondary education and training are collaborating to promote
- positive mental health in public schools and post-secondary education/training institutions
- a continuum in the delivery of effective services to students
- the sharing of evidence-based practices and intervention strategies
- networking opportunities and partnerships between and among various government departments and key stakeholders
Mental Health Framework
At their January 18, 2018 meeting, ministers of education and early childhood development, and ministers of post-secondary education and training, have committed to further solidify regional collaboration to guide provincial and regional mental health initiatives by agreeing to develop an Atlantic Mental Health Framework.
The proposed framework will contain specific goals and objectives that ministers would like to pursue both regionally and provincially. The framework is meant to be an overarching direction for mental health in Atlantic Canada and will contain key mental health themes and priorities that provinces would like to address to support the delivery of provincial services. The framework will also include key goals, objectives, and themes that are within the responsibilities of ministers of education and early childhood development, post-secondary education, and training.
A regional approach will be helpful in advancing provincial efforts to promote evidence-based policies, practices that are relevant and strategic in a learning environment, a continuum in the delivery of effective services to address mental health issues in public schools and post-secondary education institutions, and assist them in collaborating in a systematic way and making effective use of available data. In addition to laying the foundation for a regional mental health approach, the framework will serve as a mechanism for provinces to continue sharing information, learn from each other, and determine which strategies and programs are most effective.
The framework will be developed in 2018.
2017 CAMET SYMPOSIUM ON MENTAL HEALTH
Building on the success of the 2016 symposium, CAMET hosted a second symposium on mental health on October 25-26, 2017, involving mental health specialists in the areas of public and post-secondary education, health, and non-government organizations.
The symposium provided a valuable opportunity to establish and strengthen partnerships among the various stakeholders pertaining to the continuum of effective service delivery. The symposium was a valuable professional development initiative as participants engaged in networking, shared evidence-based practices, and learned from one another.
MENTAL HEALTH DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS
The Atlantic ministers of education and training recognize the importance of evidence-based research and data in the area of mental health to assist the provinces and stakeholders in making informed decisions pertaining to intervention strategies to support students. Provinces consulted with experts in the field of mental health to determine what data are currently available and what needs to be collected.
The mental health data collection and analysis initiative is expected to yield critical and positive results for the provinces, collectively and individually. Building on the existing data relevant to public and post-secondary education students, the information obtained from this initiative will provide evidence-based data to inform regional decision making regarding establishing policies, programs, and—more specifically—intervention strategies to address the issue of mental illness among public and post-secondary education students.