Nurturing Social / Emotional Development and Mental Health

Please send your feedback on this core component to:

Guiding Questions

  • How can we nurture social / emotional development and mental health in a manner that strengthens the home-school partnership?
  • In what ways can a school community authentically support the social development of a complex learner?
  • How can we enhance the skillset of our personnel to support the mental health of our complex learners?
  • In what ways can students’ social/emotional development be supported to help them successfully manage transitions?





  • To provide students with a genuine sense of belonging within their classroom and larger school community, nurturing their social and emotional development and supporting their mental health needs.


Key Actions

  • Collect data from parents, school personnel and experts from the field on nurturing social emotional development and mental health for complex learners.
  • Retain the services of TMG Consulting to provide professional development to Education Assistants and a two-day inservice to school counsellors on promoting mental health for complex learners.
  • Retain the services of SEEDS to implement at five selected sites school-wide programs aimed at supporting the socialization and sense of belonging for complex learners.
  • Meaningfully integrate this component with the work being done on: strengthening the home-school partnership, celebrating the unique me, supporting student transitions, nurturing social-emotional development and mental health, and enhancing professional skillset.
  • Ongoing and comprehensive examination of how students with complex needs are included in all aspects of the school experience, especially those that provide opportunities for information socialization with peers.
  • Mental health needs of complex learners with a focus on how students with complex needs access resources and support as needed.


Indicators of Progress

  • Collect pre and post data from parents and school personnel who are supporting a complex learner to determine if key actions have resulted in successful outcomes as they relate to supporting student transition.
  • Use this information to meaningfully inform key actions for further development of this component in the 2018/2019 academic year.


Developmental Disabilities Mental Health Services Brochure

The DDMHS provides individualized assessment, treatment and education for adolescents and adults with developmental disabilities and complex mental health needs. The DDMHS work with the individual and their support network for up to 18 months to maximize the individual’s rehabilitation and recovery. These services are provided at their two office locations as well as by outreach to select remote communities. For more information about office locations and services provided by DDMHS, please view their brochure.

Zajac Ranch

Zajac Ranch for Children offers camp experiences to children with a variety of medical needs and disabilities including autism spectrum disorders, complex blood disorders, craniofacial differences, Down syndrome, epilepsy and other seizure disorders, gastrointestinal conditions, organ transplants, spina bifida, Tourette syndrome, visual impairments, sickle cell disease, and muscular dystrophy, among others. Read more here.

Yoga and Exercise Can Help Those with ASD Manage Meltdowns and Self Regulation

Coach Dave Geslak has created exercise programs for people on the autism spectrum using structure and visual supports. To read the full article, please click here.

Challenger Baseball

Challenger Baseball, a division of Highlands Little League, operates eight teams…four for children under 12 years of age and four for kids aged 12-19 (age at April 30). Players may have physical, intellectual or behavioural challenges and have fun with the support of a (usually) student volunteer – aged 14 and older. For more information, please click here.