AUDIO | When the British Columbia government announced a $2-million boost to mental health supports in schools in September, it piqued DJ Gill’s interest. Like many students forced into online classes last spring and facing restricted in-person classes since September, Gill was feeling lonely and anxious about her future.

“I didn’t want to miss out on all the Grade 10 opportunities,” said Gill, a high school student at J.N. Burnett Secondary in Richmond. “I didn’t want this to not be a proper school year. So, I think it’s really easy to feel negatively because of these strange times.”

After the pandemic funding was announced, Gill waited to see what mental health programs would be introduced in her school. But she didn’t see any changes, she said. And despite the inclusion of “mental well-being” in B.C.’s physical and health education curriculum, Gill does not recall ever receiving a lesson on mental health.

Gill wants the province to revamp its approach to mental health education in secondary schools, adding a focus on the origins of mental illnesses, their physiological impacts on the body, how to recognize signs of illness and how to seek help.  Read the rest of this article at The Tyee…

DJ Gill spoke to People First Radio about her advocacy for improving mental health education in British Columbia high schools. Listen and/or download below.

dj gill_advocacy for student mental health

RELATED | BC Says ‘Mental Well-Being’ Is Taught in Schools. Students Don’t See It (The Tyee, Feb. 11, 2021) | Teach mental health B.C. (Instagram)

Image (top): DJ Gill (submitted to The Tyee); (above) iStock