The Keewatin-Patricia District School Board is increasing their efforts to improve mental health supports across the district.

Trustees have announced that the board has hired a new Mental Health Co-Lead, Larae Harbour. Harbour will join current Mental Health Lead, Candice Kerkermeier.

“I am thrilled to be joining Keewatin-Patricia District School Board team and Candice Kerkermeier as her Mental Health Co-Lead,” said Harbour.

“The KPDSB has been a leader in mental health and wellness promotion for the past seven years. The KPDSB is championing the voices of students, caregivers, staff and community members to respond to vulnerable students’ needs for care. It’s truly an honor to be a part of this work and to further build pathways to support positive mental health for all students.”

Harbour joins the board after coming from Jack.org, a nationally-recognized mental health organization that focuses on young people. The board says that Harbour brings a wealth of knowledge in inclusive mental health practice, resource development and stakeholder engagement to the new role.

Harbour will focus on implementation of the key priorities within the KPDSB’s Mental Health Strategy. This includes providing resources to build staff and administrator capacity to support student well-being, partnering with key stakeholders to promote seamless transition to services and treatment and fostering an environment to lead mentally healthy schools.

“In consideration of the growing needs of our students within the KPDSB, the addition of a Co-Mental Health Lead will allow us to expand the mental health literacy capacity for all staff and students. It is a pleasure to have Larae join our KPDSB team,” said Joan Kantola, Superintendent of Human Resources and Special Education.

The school board is now entering their eighth year of the provincial Mental Health Initiative. Their 2018-2019 budget allocated $10 million to Special Education funding – with one of the priorities being increasing student mental health awareness, supports and education.

For more information:
KPDSB breaks down budget
Keewatin-Patricia releases new mental health plan

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