For students to do well, they need to be well. Mental health and wellness is essential to empowerment, which is a cornerstone of the UTS Strategic Plan.
Wellness is a true community endeavour. Staff, students and administration all get involved. Their efforts earned UTS the OPHEA Healthy Schools certification for three years in a row. Together, we plant the seeds for wellness that take root in our community and grow.
UTS aims to create a culture of inclusion where everyone feels valued. Equity is our mindset, underscoring all that we do. We welcome and celebrate our wealth of diversity, embracing an anti-racist approach. We empower our students and our community, actively fostering relationships and encouraging a sense of belonging.
Two school social workers and a school nurse are on site to provide mental health support and counselling to students, if and when they need it. At UTS, we make it easy to ask for help.
We go far beyond the minimum for a high school diploma in Ontario. Health and Physical Education is core to the UTS program, with all students taking the class from grades 7 to 11. The idea is students develop fitness for life that stays with them long after graduation day. Class goes far beyond physical education to big-picture health and wellness. Healthy lifestyles, mental wellness, positive relationships and other topics are covered, teaching students how to take care of themselves and maintain that vital balance as they pursue their ambitious plans.
Student groups advocate passionately to improve wellness at our school. The UTS Wellness Committee collaborates with school administration, and plans student activities. The Jack Chapter of Jack.org provides student mental health leadership, working to overcome barriers to positive mental health in our community. The student Peer-to-Peer group, overseen by the UTS Social Work team, gives students an avenue to ask questions and gain support from other students. UTS Parents’ Association is also on board, producing wellness sessions for parents on timely issues such as social isolation and digital citizenship.
We are deeply invested in improving wellness at our school. We want our students to succeed in whatever they choose to do, but more importantly, we want them to be happy, feel safe, and be valued for who they are, as they are. This is our commitment to our students.