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qathet School District briefs

Mental health, digital apps and financial report discussed at monthly meeting
MEETING BRIEFS: qathet School District’s board meeting on Wednesday, May 15, addressed mental health initiatives, school ventilation upgrades and end-of month fiscal report.

Level Up
qathet School Board (qSD) members Jaclyn Miller, Rob Hill and Dale Lawson, superintendent of schools Dr. Jay Yule and qSD secretary-treasurer Steve Hopkins met on May 15 for a monthly meeting.

qSD director of instruction learning and innovation Kristen Brach provided an overview of the district-wide Level Up conference that took place on May 9. The mental health initiative is designed to facilitate the transition from elementary to secondary school for grade seven students.

Brach said the day began with a keynote presentation focusing on anxiety awareness and seeking help when needed. Students then engaged in six breakout sessions, covering a mindfulness walk, substance use awareness, community resources, sexual health and consent education.

Brach said many students gave positive feedback about a community resource walk, where students were able to walk together, visit and learn about resources for youth in the qathet community.

Digital apps
qSD director of instruction Alison Burt shared information at the monthly board meeting about a digital mental health and wellness app developed in collaboration with Tla’amin Nation and CheckingIn software

Burt said the app is titled ʔəms nəm (the way we are) and is open to all users but specifically designed for members of the Tla’amin community. The app features elders’ stories, cultural teachings, traditional songs, ʔayʔaǰuθəm language lessons and wellness resources.

Burt also talked about a study being conducted by the UBC Department of Psychiatry called the Younger Minds Project, which is focused on secondary students and aims to offer mental health resources and support for their well-being and resilience. 

Burt said students will be invited to participate in a province-wide trial of a purpose-built app intended to promote well-being, build resilience and prevent disordered substance use and mental health problems.

Financial report
Hopkins said as of April 30, 2024, the month-end financial report indicates a two per cent underspend compared to the previous year. He added that the district continues to be in a strong financial position.

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