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September 10, 2012

Peel board stands up for student mental health on World Suicide Prevention Day

"Won’t you stand up and use your voice?" says director

Today, on World Suicide Prevention Day, and throughout the year, the Peel District School Board  encourages all parents and educators to stand up—to come together for a conversation when they find themselves concerned about a student.  Notes Director of Education Tony Pontes, “At the Peel board, we believe in a team approach to support students with mental health issues. Together we are stronger and collaboration leads to better support plans for our students.

“To all parents, students and staff I ask, 'won't you stand up and use your voice' when it comes to youth mental health? We are no less than the eyes and ears that can help to identify a student in need of support,” says  Pontes. “Each of us plays a critical role in the emotional well-being of our students. Whether we see the child in crisis or we notice a child who sits alone when we’re out on a school visit, we must be in-tune to the spirit of each child, and care enough to ask about his or her story. A student never forgets an encouraging word or an invitation to talk.”

The Peel board has posted a video and resources to help parents, staff and students stand up for student mental health. Visit www.peelschools.org/standup.  The video will be shown in schools and is part of a comprehensive student mental health and well-being plan.

World Suicide Prevention Day was created by the International Association for Suicide Prevention  to end the silence, encourage discussion and ultimately help prevent deaths from suicide.

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Media contact:  Tony Pontes, Director of Education, 905-890-1010 ext. 2006

Reference:  Brian Woodland, Director of Communications, 905-890-1010 ext. 2812, brian.woodland@peelsb.com

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