EMSB & MHRC get set to celebrate Youth Mental Health Awareness Week

self-care journal
Tuesday, April 12, 2022

The first week of May is Youth Mental Health Awareness Week and to mark the occasion, the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) Mental Health Resource Centre (MHRC) is calling on EMSB students for their insight. 

The week-long campaign, to run from May 2-6, will focus this year on the theme of Self-Care. Students are invited to participate by sharing how they take the time to care for themselves, with special emphasis on how to connect with others. 

“After two years in the pandemic, we all need to refocus on ourselves and reconnect with others,” said Despina Vassiliou, school psychologist and MHRC Coordinator. “Self-care skills are critical in helping us manage difficult situations which make us resilient and strengthen our mental health.”

Students can send in their tips in a multitude of ways including via written text, a short video, photo, PowerPoint presentation or social media posts. Individual schools are also encouraged to set up bulletin boards within the school for students to share their self-care tips. Tips can be sent via email to Catia Ambrosi at The submission deadline is Friday, May 6th. All tips that are collected will be compiled into a handbook of coping tools to be shared with all EMSB schools and posted on the MHRC website. 

The creative and inspiring self-care tips don’t have to end at the writing or multimedia stage. 

The MHRC has partnered with award-winning songwriter and musician Rob Lutes to help students turn their self-care advice into an original song. Lutes will be made available to schools for workshops, where he will help students write a song that turns a compassionate eye to issues of mental health. The MHRC will be sponsoring this activity for all individual schools that are interested. 

“Songs reflect the human experience,” said Vassiliou. “The workshop will allow students to explore the ways in which songs can be helpful in coping with life’s difficulties.” 

About the MHRC

The MHRC is made up of a multidisciplinary group of professionals from the Student Services Department. They aim to share their mental health knowledge and expertise with the EMSB community via school-based research. Prevention and intervention services are offered to students and staff in the form of drug abuse and violence prevention, crisis and trauma support, and behaviour management, among others. 

About the English Montreal School Board

With a youth and adult sector population of more than 35,000 students, the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) is the largest English public school board in Quebec. Established on July 1, 1998, when the province created new boards along linguistic lines, the EMSB network consists of 77 schools and centres. For more details, visit the EMSB website at