Supporting Young Refugees through School-Based Solutions

Last modified by Doug Maynard on 2016/09/22 14:53

Hosted by the Children and Youth in Challenging Contexts (CYCC) Network, this two-part webinar will look at school-based initiatives to support the mental health and successful resettlement of young refugees and newcomers to Canada.  

Part one will highlight the work of the Ontario wide School Mental Health ASSIST team, focusing on their efforts to mobilize sustainable supports in relation to newcomer student mental health promotion and intervention.  Speakers will address structures, processes and resources organized at the provincial and school board level.  Integration with other existing ecological school mental health initiatives and frameworks will be noted.

Part two of this webinar will focus on school-based initiatives run by the FCJ Refugee Centre in Toronto. Newcomer youth often face multiple barriers in accessing education, and in achieving equitable participation once inside the education system. This session will discuss how the Centre has evolved alternatives to education (including two free schools, and arts-based programs) as a response to these barriers, while concurrently advocating for systemic change. Participants will be invited to join a discussion of enablers and challenges for supporting newcomer students with refugee backgrounds at school.




Kathy short headshot.jpgDr. Kathy Short

Dr. Kathy Short is a Clinical Child Psychologist with research and practice interests that focus on school mental health promotion, knowledge mobilization, and implementation science. She is the Director for School Mental Health ASSIST, a provincial team designed to help Ontario school boards to support student mental health and well-being. Dr. Short is a member of the national School-Based Mental Health and Substance Abuse Consortium, and led the Knowledge Translation and Exchange Team for this association of Canadian researchers and school mental health practitioners on a national project for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.  Dr. Short chairs the newly formed School Mental Health International Leadership Exchange (SMHILE), a network of global leaders focused on key themes in student mental health promotion. She was appointed to the Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council for the province, and is the Chair for the Mental Health Promotion, Prevention, and Early Intervention Work Group for the Council.

Patricia Headshot.jpgPatricia Marra-Stapleton

Patricia Marra- Stapleton is the Mental Health Leader for TCDSB. Patricia is responsible for the development and implementation of the board’s Student Mental Health Strategy and Policy. Patricia completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at McGill University, and a graduate honors degree in Clinical Child / School Psychology from California State University. As a Certified Psychological Associate she has worked with the TCDSB for many years, serving elementary and secondary schools as well as special programs such a Behavioral Resource and the APPLE program for expelled students. 

Patricia has worked in many settings including juvenile justice, child welfare, children’s mental health, and homeless youth. She has experience working in both the US and Canada, in both rural and urban settings. She has been featured in both local and national media – lending her voice to the importance of school based mental health. As a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario Board of Examiners, Patricia has assisted in the launch of many professional practice careers in psychology across Ontario.

Patricia is passionate about creating mentally healthy schools!

Philip headshot.jpgPhilip Ackerman

Since graduating with a Bachelor of Arts from the university of Toronto, Philip Ackerman has worked extensively as an adult educator in Taiwan, Hong Kong and Canada. For the past few years Philip has been committed to working with diverse newcomer populations, focusing most of his efforts in working with youth. He has been working as the Resource Development and Youth Coordinator at the FCJ Refugee Centre, where he devotes himself to coordinating an ever-growing youth group, supporting newcomer youth in a variety of different areas. Philip is also committed to the financial stability of the organization, working as the primary fundraiser and resource developer. Alongside his work at the FCJ Refugee Centre, Philip is also part-time faculty at Seneca College, teaching several courses in two different programs. He is also currently undertaking a Master’s degree in Adult Education and Community Development at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education.

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Created by Ann Watkins on 2016/08/29 20:17