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Mental Health and Well-Being

​Welcome to Bear Creek Secondary School’s Wellness page.  This page is meant to provide parents, students, and teachers with helpful links, articles, etc. that may provide support for teenagers in areas of mental, emotional and psychological well-being.


 

Support is available in Simcoe County

 

24 hour mental health crisis line

1-888-893-8333 or 705-728-5044

Kids Help Phone 1-800-668-6868

Kid’s Help Phone

Canadian Mental Health Association 1-800-461-4319

Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit http://www.simcoemuskokahealth.org/

Speak with a public health professional by calling Health Connection, 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Kinark 1-888-454-6275

https://www.kinark.on.ca/

Kinark is a leading provider of services and supports for children and youth with complex needs and their families. Services are provided in the areas of Child and Youth Mental Health, Autism and Forensic Mental Health/Youth Justice.

Call to speak with someone about how we can help.
Newpath 705-725-7656

Access the 211 directory by phone (dial 2-1-1) or at www.211ontario.ca for information on community resources related to a specific concern.

 

Other Useful Links:


November 12 – 16 – Anti-Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

 

What is Bullying?

 

Many children have a good idea of what bullying is because they see it every day! Bullying happens when someone hurts or scares another person on purpose and the person being bullied has a hard time defending themselves. So, everyone needs to get involved to help stop it.


Bullying is wrong! It is behaviour that makes the person being bullied feel afraid or uncomfortable. There are many ways that young people bully each other, even if they don't realize it at the time. Some of these include:

 

  • Punching, shoving and other acts that hurt people physically
  • Spreading bad rumours about people
  • Keeping certain people out of a group
  • Teasing people in a mean way
  • Getting certain people to "gang up" on others


    The four most common types of bullying are:

    Verbal bullying - name-calling, sarcasm, teasing, spreading rumours, threatening, making negative references to one's culture, ethnicity, race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation, unwanted sexual comments.

    Social Bullying - mobbing, scapegoating, excluding others from a group, humiliating others with public gestures or graffiti intended to put others down.

    Physical Bullying - hitting, poking, pinching, chasing, shoving, coercing, destroying or stealing belongings, unwanted sexual touching.

    Cyber Bullying - using the internet or text messaging to intimidate, put-down, spread rumours or make fun of someone.

    What are the effects of bullying?


    Bullying makes people upset. It can make children feel lonely, unhappy and frightened. It can make them feel unsafe and think there must be something wrong with them. Children can lose confidence and may not want to go to school anymore. It may even make them sick.

    Some people think bullying is just part of growing up and a way for young people to learn to stick up for themselves. But bullying can have long-term physical and psychological consequences. Some of these include:

     
  • Withdrawal from family and school activities, wanting to be left alone.
  • Shyness
  • Stomachaches
  • Headaches
  • Panic Attacks
  • Not being able to sleep
  • Sleeping too much
  • Being exhausted
  • Nightmares


    If bullying isn't stopped, it also hurts the bystanders, as well as the person who bullies others. Bystanders are afraid they could be the next victim. Even if they feel badly for the person being bullied, they avoid getting involved in order to protect themselves or because they aren't sure what to do.

    Children who learn they can get away with violence and aggression continue to do so in adulthood. They have a higher chance of getting involved in dating aggression, sexual harassment and criminal behaviour later in life.

    Bullying can have an effect on learning


    Stress and anxiety caused by bullying and harassment can make it more difficult for kids to learn. It can cause difficulty in concentration and decrease their ability to focus, which affects their ability to remember things they have learned.


    Bullying can lead to more serious concerns


    Bullying is painful and humiliating, and kids who are bullied feel embarrassed, battered and shamed. If the pain is not relieved, bullying can even lead to consideration of suicide or violent behaviour.

    How common is bullying?


    Approximately one in 10 children have bullied others and as many as 25% of children in grades four to six have been bullied. A 2004 study published in the medical Journal of Pediatrics found that about one in seven Canadian children aged 11 to 16 are victims of bullying. Studies have found bullying occurs once every seven minutes on the playground and once every 25 minutes in the classroom.


    In the majority of cases, bullying stops within 10 seconds when peers intervene, or do not support the bullying behaviour.

    Students are most vulnerable to bullying during transitions from elementary to junior high school, and from junior to senior high school.

    There is a correlation between increased supervision and decreased bullying. Bullies stop when adults are around.

    What are the myths about bullying?


    Myth #1 - "Children have got to learn to stand up for themselves."


    Reality - Children who get up the courage to complain about being bullied are saying they've tried and can't cope with the situation on their own. Treat their complaints as a call for help. In addition to offering support, it can be helpful to provide children with problem solving and assertiveness training to assist them in dealing with difficult situations.

    Myth #2 - "Children should hit back - only harder."



    Reality - This could cause serious harm. People who bully are often bigger and more powerful than their victims. This also gives children the idea that violence is a legitimate way to solve problems. Children learn how to bully by watching adults use their power for aggression. Adults have the opportunity to set a good example by teaching children how to solve problems by using their power in appropriate ways.

    Myth #3 - "It builds character."



    Reality - Children who are bullied repeatedly, have low self-esteem and do not trust others. Bullying damages a person's self-concept.

    Myth #4 - "Sticks and stones can break your bones but words can never hurt you."


    Reality - Scars left by name-calling can last a lifetime.

    Myth #5 - "That's not bullying. They're just teasing."


    Reality - Vicious taunting hurts and should be stopped.

    Myth #6 - "There have always been bullies and there always will be."


    Reality - By working together as parents, teachers and students we have the power to change things and create a better future for our children. As a leading expert, Shelley Hymel, says, "It takes a whole nation to change a culture". Let's work together to change attitudes about bullying. After all, bullying is not a discipline issue - it is a teaching moment.

    Myth #7 - "Kids will be kids."



    Reality - Bullying is a learned behaviour. Children may be imitating aggressive behaviour they have seen on television, in movies or at home. Research shows that 93% of video games reward violent behaviour. Additional findings show that 25% of boys aged 12 to 17 regularly visit gore and hate internet sites, but that media literacy classes decreased the boys' viewing of violence, as well as their acts of violence in the playground. It is important for adults to discuss violence in the media with youth, so they can learn how to keep it in context. There is a need to focus on changing attitudes toward violence.

     

    Canadian Bullying Statistics

     
  • Canada has the 9th highest rate of bullying in the 13-years-olds category on a scale of 35 countries
  • At least 1 in 3 adolescent students in Canada have reported being bullied recently
  • Among adult Canadians, 38% of males and 30% of females reported having experienced occasional or frequent bullying during their school years
  • 47% of Canadian parents report having a child victim of bullying
  • Any participation in bullying increases risk of suicidal ideas in youth
  • The rate of discrimination experienced among students who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-identified, Two-Spirited, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) is three times higher than heterosexual youth
  • Girls are more likely to be bullied on the Internet than boys
  • 7% of adult Internet users in Canada, age 18 years and older, self-reported having been a victim of cyber-bullying at some point in their life
  • The most common form of cyber-bullying involved receiving threatening or aggressive e-mails or instant messages, reported by 73% of victims
  • 40% of Canadian workers experience bullying on a weekly basis

     

    For more information, please go to https://www.bullyingcanada.ca/


 

November 26 – December 2 – National Addiction Awareness Week

 

All Walks of Life

 

Sadly, one in 10 Canadians suffers from some type of substance use disorder. That could mean your colleague, your neighbour or someone in your own family. Addiction does not discriminate—it affects all walks of life.

 

This year during National Addictions Awareness Week, we (Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction) will be trying to dispel some deeply held stereotypes about substance use disorders. Through our Faces and Voices video campaign, individuals will share their experience with substance use, both personally and through others. The videos show how substance use disorders can affect any social level.

 

We are holding our Stigma Workshop: Breaking down the Barriers on Thursday, November 29, 2018. The purpose of the workshop is to increase awareness of stigma and to identify strategies to address it in our communities and workplaces. Our aim is to build meaningful partnerships with others committed to addressing stigma. We are conducting a Facebook Live event to bring you the panel from the workshop and will provide more information about this event soon.

 

We are also preparing a toolkit with infographics, videos and social media products for you and your organization to share and help raise awareness of this issue that affects #AllWalksofLife.The toolkit will be available for distribution soon.

 

Your efforts to promote National Addictions Awareness Week 2018 will help reduce the stigmas and stereotypes associated with addiction and recovery. We need to reduce those stigmas because addiction does not discriminate.

 

Go to http://www.ccdus.ca/Eng/newsevents/national-addictions-awareness-week/Pages/default.aspx for more information.


Wellness Team


This is a group of educators, including administrators, teachers, and educational assistants, combined with a SCDSB social worker (our Bear Creek Social Worker) and community partners to support mental health and Well-being of both students and staff at Bear Creek Secondary School.


There is also a student-led Wellness team, Kodiak Wellness team, working on metal health and well-being initiatives in the school, promoting awareness, smashing stigmas, and generally, getting overall well-being out in the open.