KEYS for continued success
May 18, 2017
Three new schools will be partnering with Strathcona County to build mental health capacity in youth, through the KEYS program. The KEYS program is delivered by Strathcona County staff and funded by Alberta Health Services and Alberta Community and Social Services.
Beginning in the 2017-18 school year, KEYS staff will work with students, teachers and parents with Ardrossan Junior Senior High (working with junior high students and teachers), and Lakeland Ridge and Holy Spirit School (working with junior high students and teachers). KEYS operates on a community model with a plan to rotate presence within schools on a three-year cycle.
Through a capacity building model, KEYS staff work in collaboration with school staff and parents, to promote the mental health and well-being of students. The goal is to create a culture of positive mental health and healthy relationships within the school setting. The KEYS program supports Community Talk’s findings that, as a community, it’s important that people in Strathcona County are healthy (physical, mental, spiritual and emotional wellness).
The KEYS program seeks to promote positive mental health and healthy relationships through raising awareness, increasing knowledge, building personal skills (such as self-care and self-regulation), developing interpersonal skills and fostering positive community norms (such as support networks, and physical and psychological safety). This important work is based on the belief that mental and emotional wellbeing can be developed, nurtured and supported through promotion and prevention efforts.
Over the past several years, KEYS staff enjoyed working alongside teachers, students and parents from St. Theresa Catholic Middle School, Clover Bar Junior High School and F.R. Haythorne Junior High School. Partnership highlights include implementing a school-based Community Helpers program, hosting student-led events and activities for mental health and healthy relationship awareness (for e.g. Bullying Awareness Week, Pink Shirt Day, etc.), Junior High Jitters and Sweet Success program to ease the transition for youth and parents into junior high school, as well as presentations on topics such as teen suicide awareness and digital media use.
As KEYS staff move onto the new schools, current schools will be provided continued support through information and knowledge sharing, provision of resources and other informal supports, as needed.
Further information about KEYS or call Strathcona County Family and Community Services. 780-464-4044
Set in the centre of Alberta’s energy and agricultural heartland, Strathcona County is a thriving, successful and vibrant community of over 98,000 residents. Strathcona County is made up of the urban area of Sherwood Park and a large adjacent rural area of farms, acreages and smaller hamlets. It is home to 75 per cent of refining in Western Canada. With a focus on economic, governance, social, cultural and environmental sustainability, Strathcona County is committed to balancing the unique needs of its diverse community.
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Strathcona County Communications, 780-410-6595