ST. JOHN’S (GNB) – The provincial government has committed to a number of actions to support public and post-secondary education students in the area of mental health and career transitioning.

These were the major themes that emerged from the meeting of the Council of Atlantic Ministers of Education and Training (CAMET) today in St. John’s.

“Our government understands that access to appropriate and timely mental health services is important in order for our students to be successful,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Brian Kenny. “In fact, yesterday we announced the expansion of the Integrated Services Delivery model, which features a team of intervention and support professionals collaborating in the community to provide mental health, addiction, social and emotional support, and other services to children and youth, to an additional 112 schools in the province.”

“As students begin to navigate their career paths and pursue a post-secondary education, they deserve access to quality resources to effectively prevent and treat mental illness,” said Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault. “We are working together to create an environment for our students that supports their mental health challenges so they can successfully realize their full potential.”

The ministers at the meeting agreed to collaborate in the area of mental health by promoting best practices and creating networking opportunities for government departments and other stakeholders.

They agreed that further work needs to be undertaken to promote positive mental health in public schools and post-secondary education institutions and asked their senior officials to work closely with experts in the field of mental health to determine the current level of need and the required data to inform evidence-based decisions.

The commitments announced today by the Atlantic ministers are the results of the June 2016 Symposium sponsored by CAMET.

The ministers recognized the diverse approaches to the delivery of career education services in each Atlantic province. Building on these successes, they announced three major Atlantic initiatives:

  • Atlantic Canada Career Week, to take place this year from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, in all schools in the four provinces. The theme this year is Create Your Own Future, and is intended to promote career development as an integral part of student learning and support it using a co-ordinated whole-school approach. Student activities related to a specific theme will be introduced each day and integrated into the existing curriculum.
  • the development of a framework outlining the competencies that school and post-secondary education students should develop to effectively transition from studies to work. This is considered an appropriate action given the high unemployment for youth and young adults and the growth of underemployment and part-time work in Canada.
  • a study to be conducted by the Canadian Career Development Foundation to analyze the strengths and gaps in the transition of students from public to post-secondary education. The study will be completed in the fall 2017. The results will provide information on how to provide better access for students who take an indirect route to post-secondary education; maximize the number of students who graduate; and provide more opportunities for graduating students to find work in their fields of study.

The initiatives announced today build upon recommendations from Future in Focus –Atlantic Career Development Framework for Public Education: 2015-2020, released by CAMET in June 2015 and available online at the council’s website. The framework outlines seven goals the Atlantic provinces will pursue to strengthen career development and transition.

CAMET is an agency of the departments responsible for public and post-secondary education. Its purpose is to enhance co-operation in public (entry to Grade 12) and post-secondary education in Atlantic Canada by working together to improve learning, optimize efficiencies and bring added value to provincial initiatives.