Lakeland Catholic School District (LCSD) will host two HEADSTRONG Summits in October. These important symposiums are focused on improving the mental wellness of our students and reducing stigma around mental health. The keynote speaker for these events is Drezus, an Indigenous rapper and activist based out of Winnipeg.
A summit will take place on Thursday, October 17 at École Notre Dame High School in Bonnyville (9:00 am – 2:50 pm) and a second summit will take place on Friday, October 18 at Assumption Junior/Senior High School in Cold Lake (9:00 am – 3:00 pm). Students from Light of Christ Catholic School in Lac La Biche and Holy Family Catholic School in Waskatenau will be able to join these sessions. Students from nearby Indigenous communities have also been invited to join these events.
It is critical to focus on stigma as it is what is keeping many people from seeking the help they need when they need it most. The Mental Health Commission of Canada says that “Forty percent of parents admit they wouldn’t tell anyone, including a family doctor, if their child were experiencing a mental health problem, and five out of six young people diagnosed with needing support do not get professional help.” Initiatives such as HEADSTRONG empower our youth leaders to eliminate stigma so we can help break the cycle.
What will these symposiums look like for our students? Students will be brought together for an exciting day of learning where they will hear stories of hope and recovery from speakers with lived experiences, participate in stigma-busting activities and design action plans to use when they return to school.