Expert presents recommendations
HALIFAX - The Nova Scotia government says it will immediately spend $192,000 boosting mental health supports at the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in the wake of three teen suicides this year.
The step is part of seven short- and long-term recommendations released today by a Dalhousie University mental health expert who was dispatched to Cape Breton in late June following the suicides, including a 13-year-old transgender boy who was bullied through social media.
Dr. Stan Kutcher held three days of consultations and fact-finding with families, school staff and the community.
The province says it has accepted all of the recommendations, and will spend the money to hire two guidance counsellors and a social worker at the board.
Other recommendations from Kutcher include providing more staff for the province-wide mental health crisis line, a single “structure” to address all school mental health policies, and a provincial policy to address students’ cellphone use on school grounds.