Ex­pert presents rec­om­men­da­tions

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - ATLANTIC -

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.

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