STUDENT SUPPORT LEADERSHIP – PHA

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					                                     STUDENT SUPPORT LEADERSHIP – PHASE TWO
                                          PROVINCIAL GUIDELINES 2010-11

1.            Purpose

The purpose of this package is to provide guidelines to Student Support Leadership (SSL) Cluster
members for their participation in SSL Phase Two, 2010-111.

2.            Provincial Goals For Clusters

              1.         Improved understanding of each Cluster member’s services

              2.         Improved joint decision-making processes

              3.         Improved pathways to existing services/supports for students and their families

3.            SSL Phase Two


                                                What’s New For SSL Phase Two, 2010-11

In 2010-11, SSL will build on the work that Clusters have been doing over the last three years by:
 deepening partnerships at the local level to include appropriate health sector partners, (e.g.,
    hospitals that offer child and youth mental health services, Family Health Teams, Community
    Health Centres, addictions service providers);
 expanding to include representation from care, treatment, custody and correctional facilities
    (Section 23 education programs); and
 strengthening parent engagement and child and youth participation in the decision making process.


Participating Clusters will receive funding (see 2010-11 funding details in the Education Programs
Other memo, March 26, 2010), based on the guidelines and objectives established each year. Funding
for Clusters will continue to flow through school boards, dispersed locally based on Cluster plans
related to activities that meet the criteria for each year, and approved by the three ministries. Funding
will support expansion of SSL so that the impact of activities is felt more directly at the local and
community levels.

Objectives

The key objectives for Phase Two, 2010-11 are to:

        1. Expand focus to include child and youth serving professionals in the health sector and Section
           23 education programs;
        2. Build leadership capacity, including focus on the Core Leadership Capacities derived from
           Ontario’s Leadership Framework (see Additional Information and Resources section);
        3. Enhance partnerships and collaboration, including referrals, service and information sharing
           protocols;
        4. Enhance collaborative service planning across sectors at the local level;
        5. Support capacity building and improved awareness of mental health for professionals and

1
    2010-11 refers to the school year and is from August 31st, 2010 to August 31st, 2011.
                              STUDENT SUPPORT LEADERSHIP – PHASE TWO
                                   PROVINCIAL GUIDELINES 2010-11

     6. Enhance the promotion of mental health and well-being.

Clusters may find themselves at different points on the Partnerships and Processes Continuum (see
attached planning template) and are encouraged to build on the successes already achieved.

Key activities for Clusters in Phase Two, 2010-11 are those that:
 deepen existing partnerships by bringing in health partners;
 continue to build protocols and processes for service planning, referrals and communication across
   sectors;
 continue to share best practices between and across clusters;
 improve knowledge of and ability to respond to potential mental health needs through training or
   other development activities;
 strengthen parent engagement and child and youth participation in decision making related to
   service
 build leadership capacity; and
 position the Cluster for ongoing sustainability and continuation.

4.       Provincial Context

The ministries of Education (EDU), Children and Youth Services (MCYS), and Health and Long-Term
Care (MOHLTC) are collaborating on the continuation of SSL Phase Two for three more years.

In making the transition to school and throughout their educational pathways, many children require
more than just academic supports to succeed. The SSL initiative began in 2008 to foster leadership
within and across 29 Clusters of school boards/authorities and child and youth mental health agencies
to form and enhance local partnerships and coordinate services between schools and agencies. The
initiative was developed to address Ontario’s Safe Schools Strategy and implementation of A Shared
Responsibility: Ontario’s Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health (Framework) (see
Additional Information and Resources section).

The next phase of SSL continues to align with these provincial priorities, as well as with the
development of the province’s 10-year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy being led by MOHLTC,
and its goals to promote mental health, prevent mental illness and addictions and improve access,
integration and quality of services.

Phase Two of SSL will continue to empower system leaders and build on past successes. In 2010-11,
the SSL initiative will build on the work that Clusters have been doing over the last three years by
deepening partnerships to include appropriate health sector partners (e.g., hospitals that offer child and
youth mental health services, Family Health Teams, Community Health Centres, addictions service
providers) to participate and to develop joint referral processes with schools, school boards, child and
youth mental health agencies for children and youth. To further deepen supportive relationships for
children and youth within the Clusters, Cluster leaders are encouraged to invite representation from
Section 23 programs to participate in Cluster planning.

Clusters are encouraged to examine the promotion of mental health and well-being in their
communities. Addressing the underlying needs of students can mitigate risk factors that may lead to
disruptive school behaviour, involvement in the criminal justice system and participation in unhealthy
activities. Clusters are encouraged to maintain and continue building partnerships with
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agencies/professionals that provide services to youth in, or at risk of conflict with the law and that
focus on the prevention of both the suspension and expulsion of students, while also including a focus
on mental health and addictions.

Although there will not be funding provided for Cluster Consultants in Phase Two, the Provincial
Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (Centre of Excellence) will continue to assist
and support the SSL clusters with any future Knowledge Exchange (KE) activities and sharing of
resources across Clusters. These activities may include support for webinars, linkages to partners and
consultation advice to Clusters on conducting evaluations of their initiatives. The Centre of Excellence
has committed to maintaining the SSL portal for at least one year to facilitate KE activities.




Timelines 2010-11

Date                  Deliverable
July 15, 2010         Planning templates returned to Ministry for review along with Cluster contact list
July/August 2010      Approval of Cluster templates
Fall 2010             Transfer Payment Agreements
Feb 2011              Mid-year Progress Report
Fall 2011             Cluster Report Back on Activities and Financial Information




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ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND RESOURCES

What is Mental Health?

Mental health, mental health problems and mental illness or disorder represent different degrees in a
continuum of overall mental health and well-being. As defined by the World Health Organization,
health “is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of
disease or infirmity”. Mental health includes “all aspects of human development and well-being that
affect an individual’s emotions, learning and behaviour”, and again not merely the absence of illness
(BC Ministry of Children and Family Development).

There are recognized difficulties in defining the mental health problems that affect children and youth.
In A Shared Responsibility: Ontario’s Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health, the term
mental health problem is used to describe any emotional or behavioural condition that may be
reflected in difficulties and/or disabilities in the realm of personal relationship, psychological
developments, the capacity for play and learning, and/or in distress and maladaptive behaviour. These
conditions are relatively common, may or may not be persistent, and while they may cause significant
distress and impair functions, they do not meet diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder.

The terms mental illness or mental disorder are used to mean any emotional behavioural, or brain-
related clinical condition that causes significant impairment in functioning as defined in standard
diagnostic protocols such as the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
(DSM) (APA, 2000). Typically, these disorders are persistent, severe and affect functioning on a day-
to-day basis. It is common to find more than one mental disorder present (e.g., attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and depression, or ADHD and conduct disorder) which increases the
challenge and complexity of the services and treatment required for children and youth in the
community.

Children and Youth Mental Health and Well-Being

Mental health problems appear in children and youth of all social classes and backgrounds. Children
and youth with mental health problems experience significant impairments that affect their functioning
academically, socially and in their family lives2,3. The potential consequences of experiencing mental
health problems that go unaddressed include poor academic achievement, school discipline problems,
failure to complete high school, substance abuse, conflict with the law, an inability to live
independently or hold a job, health problems and increased risk of suicide - all of which affect
children, youth, their families/caregivers, schools, communities, employers and the province as a
whole4.

It is estimated that 15-21% of children and youth in Ontario have at least one mental health issue.5
 The impact that mental health needs have on effective learning and healthy development is
increasingly recognized across child and youth serving sectors. Key informants from school boards
across Ontario report that they are concerned about student mental health issues, and see a strong link
between social-emotional well-being and academic performance6,6. The results of a national study of

2
  Canadian Council on Learning, 2009.
3
  Canadian Institute for Health Information, 2009.
4
  A Shared Responsibility: Ontario’s Child and Youth Mental Health Policy Framework, 2006.
5
  Waddell, Charlotte (2007). Improving the Mental Health of Young Children: A Discussion Paper Prepared for the British Columbia Healthy Child Development Alliance.
6
  Short K., Ferguson, B. and Santor, D.,, 2009; Scanning the practice landscape in school-based mental health.
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school leavers indicate that approximately 50% experience severe emotional and mental health
problems7; and the costs and consequences associated with early school leaving are serious for youth
and for society as a whole8,9.

Safe Schools Strategy

On February 1, 2008 amendments to the safe schools provisions of the Education Act came into effect.
These amendments and related Policy/Program Memoranda more effectively combine discipline with
opportunities for students to continue their education through the use of a progressive discipline
approach. Progressive discipline is a whole school approach that promotes positive student behaviour
through the utilization of a range of interventions, supports and consequences while also including
opportunities for students to focus on improving behaviour. Prevention and intervention strategies
foster a positive school climate that supports academic achievement for all students and are an
important part of the Ministry of Education’s Safe Schools Strategy.

It is important to note that some students with mental health issues get into trouble at school, but not
every student who gets into trouble has mental health issues. Understanding the mental health needs of
students is crucial to supporting them. With that in mind, every school board in Ontario is required to
have at least one program for students who are on long-term suspension, and one program for students
who have been expelled. These programs must provide an academic component to support students
who are suspended for more than five school days and both an academic and non-academic component
to support students who are suspended for more than 10 school days or have been expelled. School
boards have been encouraged to form partnerships with community agencies to provide non-academic
supports to students, including mental health supports, that promote positive student behaviour and to
assist them in early and ongoing intervention.

Support for Change

Educators, health care professionals and agencies have all indicated the need to develop common
language, understanding, processes and procedures so that children and youth receive appropriate
mental health services and supports when required, based upon their presenting needs.

A policy oriented paper on school-based mental health in Ontario expresses the views of 27
participating school boards, identifying the need for support and training to educators in order to help
them recognize mental health issues and identify processes to respond effectively10.

The Provincial Centre of Excellence for Child and Youth Mental Health (Centre of Excellence) which
provided support to Clusters in SSL Phase One through Cluster Consultants has identified some key
determinants of success, in the areas of Leadership and Collaboration in Phase One.

            Determinants of Success: leadership and partnership
           Leadership: Effective leadership in Clusters was key to successful collaborations. Successful
           leaders were: knowledgeable of both educational and community services; effective at
           relationship building and group facilitation in a safe and supportive environment; and able to
           build a common vision and bring key partners to the table.
7
  Ferguson et al., 2005.
8
  Rumberger et al., 2001.
9
  Kessler et al., 1995.
10
   Short, K., Ferguson, B. and Santor, D., 2009; Scanning the practice landscape in school-based mental health.
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       Collaboration/Partnerships: Clusters that spent time early to develop a strong foundation for
       collaboration were more successful. In addition to establishing trust, strong partnerships were
       exemplified by a powerful shared vision that applies to the larger community; clearly defined
       roles and responsibilities, and representatives of bargaining groups being involved from the
       start.

Alignment with Provincial Priorities

Safe Schools and SSL Phase 1

The Ministries of Education and Children and Youth Services began the Student Support Leadership
initiative to foster leadership within and across 29 Clusters of school boards/authorities and child and
youth mental health agencies to form and enhance local partnerships and coordinate services between
schools and agencies. This initiative supports and is aligned with Ontario’s Safe Schools Strategy and
Ontario’s policy framework for child and youth mental health.
Additional information may be found online at:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teachers/safeschools.html

A Shared Responsibility: Ontario’s Policy Framework for Child and Youth Mental Health

In 2006 the Ontario government released A Shared Responsibility Ontario’s Policy Framework for
Child and Youth Mental Health (the Framework). The Framework sets the strategic direction for
change in the delivery of child and youth mental health services and supports through the next several
years. The Framework is available online at
http://www.children.gov.on.ca/htdocs/English/documents/topics/specialneeds/mentalhealth/framework
.pdf

Ontario’s 10-Year Mental Health and Addictions Strategy

In the 2008 Provincial Budget, the government committed to develop a comprehensive Mental Health
and Addiction strategy. The comprehensive 10-year mental health and addiction strategy is looking at
services for people with mild, moderate and serious mental illness and addictions, as well as mental
health promotion and prevention of mental illness and addictions. The strategy discussion paper Every
Door is the Right Door can be found online at:
http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/program/mentalhealth/minister_advisgroup/pdf/discussion
_paper.pdf

Ministry of Education – Ontario Leadership Framework

A substantial and growing body of professional knowledge and research demonstrates a direct and
powerful link between good leadership and improved student achievement. In fact, leadership in the
education setting is second only to teaching in its ability to drive student success and meet critical
achievement targets.

Research on school-based psychosocial support networks for students at risk demonstrates that strong
leadership is essential. Through leadership across schools boards, schools and community agencies for

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collaborative planning and service coordination, local partners can facilitate children and youth getting
access to the right services at the right time by:
         Improving pathways to appropriate services and supports
         Improving the ability of children, youth and families to understand, navigate and use the
            services and supports available to them
         Optimizing local resources
         Improving decision-making through effective planning mechanisms
         Establishing or enhancing referral mechanisms

Please visit the following resources on the Ministry of Education website and on the website of the
Institute for Education Leadership for more information, tools and techniques for building leadership
capacity.

Leadership Development:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/leadership/       `

Ontario’s Institute for Education Leadership:
http://www.education-leadership-ontario.ca/home.shtml

Ontario Leadership Framework:
http://www.education-leadership-ontario.ca/files/FrameworkAction.pdf

Articles about Leadership:
http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/leadership/articles.html




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