Centre de recherche interuniversitaire sur la formation et la profession enseignante (CRIFPE)

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Ordre des enseignantes et des enseignants de l'Ontario (OEEO) (2019). Supporting Students’ Mental Health. Toronto, Ontario : Ontario College of Teachers.




Ontario Certified Teachers (OCTs) support students’ mental health. The responsibility exists in the profession’s ethics and lives in its practices. It resides in the intentions of individual practitioners and in the collective duties of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals. It entails knowing how to recognize and address signs of mental illness, understanding where to turn for help, and working to avoid stigmatization while promoting wellness. The stigmas, ideas, pre- conceived notions, and understanding of mental health differs across families and cultures.

For the purposes of this advisory, the College has adopted the Public Health Agency of Canada’s definition of positive mental health as “the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face.” Mental health encapsu- lates one’s ability to manage thoughts, feelings and behaviour, making it possible to set and achieve goals, create and keep relationships, adapt to and cope with stress and sadness, and feel happiness.

Mental illness is more than feeling stressed or unwell. It is “a disturbance of brain function characterized by difficulties in thinking, mood, behaviour, perception, physical functioning and/or signaling mechanisms (or some combination thereof) [that] help us decide what to do day by day. They are diagnosed using internationally recognized criteria that lead to significant impair- ments in day-to-day living (work, home, social)”.

This advisory aims to help OCTs enhance their professional knowledge and practice with respect to understanding how to support students’ mental health.

Teachers’ instructional roles enable them to observe students closely. They are often the first to see changes in student behaviour. In the scope of their practice as an OCT, educators cannot diagnose ailments or propose treatment. Educators can, through awareness, understanding, experience and initiative, keep learning environ- ments functional, inclusive, safe and welcoming to enable learning to occur and students to excel.

This advisory will help you to use your professional judgment to identify and avoid potential risks.


Logos des universités associées au CRIFPE

Adresse civique

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
90, avenue Vincent d'Indy
Pavillon Marie-Victorin – C-536
Outremont (Québec) H2V 2S9

Adresse postale

Université de Montréal
Faculté des Sciences de l'Éducation
CRIFPE – C-543
C.P. 6128, succursale Centre-ville
Montréal (Québec) H3C 3J7