Friday, February 28, 2014

HEADING UP TO THE CONFEDERATION BUILDING TO DISCUSS YOUTH MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

The executive of the Federation of School Council's is meeting with officials form the Department's of Health and Education this afternoon to discuss Youth Mental Health policies Addiction Counselors.

The federation has been lobbying for changes regarding the age at which children can make independent decisions, reductions in resources to service the "special" needs of our children, timeliness of assessments for learning supports, the overburdening of guidance councilors and the failure to achieve the one per 333 students recommended in the Education and Our Future: A Road Map to Innovation and Excellence Report that is now seven years old.

It has been nearly two years since the last time  we sat down with health officials to discuss these issues. 

Not as much as changed as we had hoped. Too many students are falling through the cracks.

Many of us feel the age of majority is 18. You can not drink until you are 19. Students can not access student loans independently until they are 21 – parents have to contribute. Yet at 16, kids are making life changing decisions.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, after age 16 teachers or Councilors can’t give information to parents unless the child agrees. I have spoken to parents, mental health advocates, school guidance councilors who are very frustrated. 
 
Check out the Child Youth Advocates Report entitled 16. This document is an indictment of the 16 policy and the agencies that look after our children.

Rest assured we will continue to advocate, on a volunteer basis for the investments that are needed to ensure all our children get the assistance they need.  

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