Algoma District School Board has a new mental health leaderWednesday, September 05, 2012 by: SooToday.com Staff
Algoma District School Board is pleased to welcome Dona Menard-Calder to the position of Mental Health Leader for the school board.
Dona is a Psychological Associate and has been a member of the College of Psychologists of Ontario since 1995.
She brings 28 years of experience in the mental health field to the position, most recently as a Psychoeducational Consultant with the Peel District School Board.
Dona is one of 15 provincial Mental Health Leaders working in collaboration with the Ministry of Education on the “Open Minds, Healthy Minds Ontario Health and Addictions Strategy”.
This strategy has been put in place to:
- phase in supports for school boards in the areas of mental health and addictions
- focus on strengthening services for children and youth
- build awareness and capacity within the education system to support students and families
- focus on leadership and educator capacity-building
Dona will serve as a liaison for provincial mental health initiatives, collaborating and planning with community partners and other Mental Health Leaders to share and provide input into the development and implementation of provincial resources.
On a more local level, Dona will help to coordinate the delivery of mental health awareness and literacy programming as well as clinical consultations and support for a range of board staff and stakeholders.
Dona compliments the Board on their proactive approach to child and youth mental health initiatives.
“The Algoma District School Board has been working very closely with community partners to support children and youth and the conceptualization of “The Algoma Model” is clear evidence of that. With the delivery of early prevention programs, early intervention and increased literacy on mental illness, it is anticipated that the system as a whole will be able to work towards a common goal of fostering the development of resilient children who will be able to acquire the skills and strategies necessary to effectively cope when faced with challenging times at all stages of their lifetime.”
The Algoma District School Board has been recognized provincially as a leader for their collaborative, school and community-based model which supports child and youth mental health and well-being.
Director of Education Lucia Reece acknowledged what a strong fit Dona will be for the Board.
“We feel very fortunate to have Dona join our team in the capacity of Mental Health Leader as she brings with her both expertise in clinical psychology and experience working with educators and students within a school board setting. She will be a valuable resource not only for our Board but for our local and district communities and partners.”
Originally from Blind River, Dona completed a Masters Degree (Clinical Psychology) at the University of Ottawa.
Over the course of her career, Dona has worked with the Ministry of Health, at the North Bay Psychiatric Hospital and at the Queen Street Mental Health Centre as well as in private industry in Toronto. In 2000, Dona was hired by the Peel District School Board which allowed her to bring her expertise in Mental Health into an educational/school board environment.
Dona looks forward to working with the Algoma District School Board in supporting children, youth and their families throughout the District.