The Governor General’s wife, Her Excellency Sharon Johnston, was at St. Michael Catholic High School in Kemptville Monday to hear more about what the Catholic District School Board is doing to protect students’ mental health. Director of Education Bill Gartland says Mrs. Johnston has been trying to get out to visit the school to hear more about the Empower Bully Reporting App.
Gartland says Johnston is keenly interested in the cause.
Two St. Mike’s students walked their special guest through the app, and Her Excellency asked a number of questions. Board officials also gave a presentation on the student Resiliency Survey. Johnston says she is impressed by the proactive campaign.
Johnston says the CDSBEO mental health program is going to be effective because it is a student-led initiative that can be fluid, adapting and changing as the needs of the students change.
When asked why mental health awareness and initiatives is such an important campaign to her, Johnston says the conversation begins at home.
In the last five years that her husband has been Governor General, Johnston says she has used her public platform to advance the cause of mental health awareness, particularly in youth, because she feels kids are our future and we need to make progress in this area. While at St. Mike’s Her Excellency also took part in a 5-k walk with students organized by the Defeat Depression campaign of the Mood Disorders Society of Canada.
Below: Students Erin McEvoy and Emily Bellefontaine explain to Her Excellency how the Empower Bully Reporting App works.