Mental health was a big issue in schools even before the pandemic but it did bring the issue more out in the open.

Superintendent of the Foothills School Division Chris Fuzessy says they've received $640,000 over two years to support mental health and well-being across the division.

They're now working on a plan as to how to spend that money.

"In the application process we stated increasing student supports so that could look like family/school liaison counselors, it could look like additional teachers, we also want to provide some training for all of our staff around trauma-sensitive schools and what a trauma-sensitive school could look like," he explains. 

There are two learning days in April next year where they'll bring together staff to learn together and as teams to deepen that work and see what it would look like in the division.

Fuzessy says they're very appreciative of the extra funding and are working on a plan as part of the budget process.

He says the student's S-O-S survey shows how they're feeling from a social, emotional, and mental well-being perspective.

"What we see the data tell us is that the internal resiliency of our students seems to have been on the decline for the last few years, external resiliency also declining but not as pronounced."

Anecdotally I would say earlier this school year we saw that manifesting in a more pronounced fashion in our schools it seems to be lessening the further the school year gets along."

He says they'll have to check next year's S-O-S survey to see if that's in fact the case.