#OCSBCompassion is more than a trendy hashtag. It’s a commitment to discussing kindness and empathy and their impact on our well-being.
Let’s Talk About It
Let’s discuss how to promote compassion and well-being to cultivate meaningful connections at home, school, and the community on January 24 every day.
You are Not Alone
Life can be challenging at times, and we all face different kinds of difficulties like anger, addiction, anxiety, and loneliness. However, it’s important to remember that you’re not in this alone. Resources are available.
Don’t Wait To Reach Out for Help
The key to finding healthy coping strategies is recognizing and accessing support early. You may benefit from talking to a friend, family member, or professional, which is a great way to start if you’re struggling. Remember, you’re not alone!
Families and Schools Working Together
The Ottawa Catholic School Board is a warm and welcoming community providing in-person and virtual assistance to children. They offer various classroom and professional services and prioritize mental health and well-being. If you are concerned about your child’s mental health, you can seek help from your child’s teacher or Principal. You can also seek help through community resources available throughout Ottawa.
Empowering Youth Voice
When youth talk openly about mental health concerns, it reduces the stigma and encourages open and honest conversations at school and home. Youth-led discussions can lead to positive changes and empower children to be change-makers in the school and the greater community. Listening to your child makes a huge difference and encourages on-going conversations.
Everyone Can Make a Difference through Compassion
Compassion is empathy in action! You can show compassion by being present and attentive to another person’s needs. Acknowledging and validating each other’s feelings will go a long way to keeping the lines of communication open.
Asking questions is the first step toward better communication. School Mental Health Ontario created an information sheet to help guide you in these crucial conversations and how to foster collaboration with care in a leadership role.
- Listen to and validate the concerns and feelings expressed by your child/youth and check in with them regularly.
- Ensure your children/youth know you are there for them.
- Find constructive ways for your children/youth to “reset” into a more relaxed and happy state at home and away from home.
- Being together through play helps everyone cope better.
Kindness and Compassion through Action
- Try to recognize when someone is struggling and offer support before it becomes overwhelming.
- Community mental resources are available.
- Treat others and yourself with kindness and respect.
- You Matter. Try finding ways to recharge intentionally and meaningfully. Doing so will significantly impact how you parent.
- Be honest with your child. Talk to them about your experiences and the healthy coping strategies you use to manage your stress.
- Teaching your children/youth to care for their mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being boosts their self-confidence and resilience at home or in the classroom.
Additional Community Resources and Supports
For services and support available to help, please get in touch with the following community resources for more direct support.
- Please visit the Ottawa Public Health website for more information on caring for your mental and family health.
- 1Call1Click a simple way to access mental health support for children, youth and families
- Counselling Connect free video or phone counselling sessions for children, youth and families
- Parents Lifeline of Eastern Ontario Family peer support services 613-321-3211
- Distress Centre Crisis Line (24/7) 613-238-3311 in English and Tel-Aide Outaouais 613-741-6433 in French
- YSB Crisis Line 613-260-2360 or online chat at chat.ysb.ca
- Hope for Wellness Helpline: Available for all Indigenous peoples across Canada, offers experienced and culturally competent counsellors at 1-855-242-3310 or chat at https://www.hopeforwellness.ca/. Phone counselling is also available in Cree, Ojibway, and Inuktitut.
- Kids Help Phone: Provides non-judgmental, inclusive services available to young people across Canada 24/7. 1-800-668-6868 or chat www.kidshelpphone.ca/live-chat
- Black Youth Helpline 1-833-294-8650