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About Sickkids
About SickKids

April 27, 2012

TDSB and SickKids Team Up To Support Child and Youth Mental Health

Connecting Students and TDSB staff to Mental Health Experts Through Technology

The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) have launched a first-of-its-kind partnership that will provide students and TDSB staff with better access to leading mental health and psychiatric services.

The three-year partnership will provide the TDSB with access to child psychiatrists and other mental health experts, such as those who specialize in Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and mood disorders, improving the supports available for students. The program will be run through videoconferencing systems set up at six TDSB sites located across the city.

“This new initiative provides students with the supports they need where and when they need them,” said Chris Spence, TDSB Director of Education. “Through our partnership with SickKids, we will be able to intervene earlier and improve academic and social outcomes.”

Professional Support Staff will receive psychiatric perspectives on assessment, diagnosis and treatment. This partnership offers the TDSB staff training opportunities that will not only improve their understanding of child and youth mental health issues, but will also help to develop strategies to better support such students.

“Addressing child and youth mental health is an important initiative for SickKids. This unique and progressive collaboration will ensure that educators have the necessary tools to understand the mental health issues facing some of their students,” said Mary Jo Haddad, President and CEO, SickKids. “Through increased awareness, early recognition and intervention, SickKids and the Toronto schools will together foster healthy learning environments for students with mental health needs.”

This new partnership builds on the TDSB and SickKids’ ongoing commitments to provide a continuum of mental health supports from prevention to early intervention to treatment.

Quick Facts

  • Among the six TeleLink sites are four Model Schools for Inner Cities (George Webster ES, Chester LE JPS, John Polanyi CI and Queen Alexandra MS) and two administrative sites (140 Borough Drive and 1 Civic Centre Court).
  • Access to the service will be coordinated through each school’s School Support Team, experts in the TDSB’s Professional Support Services department and staff at existing Model Schools Paediatric Clinics.
  • The program will expand from 65 consultations in its first academic year (2011-2012) to 125 by the third year, with staff participating in up to eight professional development sessions.

For more information, please contact:

Ryan Bird
Toronto District School Board

Caitlin McNamee-Lamb
The Hospital for Sick Children
416-813-7654 ext. 1436