Wellness Empowerment Program

Section 1: Information about the Program

What is WEP?

WEP stands for the Wellness Empowerment Program. We are a mental health project that’s been at Almadina since 2008. Both Mountain View and Ogden campuses have a success coach – their role is to work with students, teachers and parents to teach them about positive mental health. The coaches work in classrooms, consult with teachers and administration, run fun whole school events for students, and also hold parent sessions. You will definitely see us at any evening event, such as the open house in the fall and parent-teacher interviews. We love it when parents come and ask us questions!

wep-pic-main-1

What do you mean by “positive mental health”?

That’s a really good question! We see mental health as living life as balanced, happily and successful as we can. School can be a pretty stressful place for students, teachers and parents! There are many other factors that can impact how a child feels and interacts with the world – issues with friends, stress with homework, bullying, low self-esteem, family issues, and much more. Our goal is to EMPOWER students with mental health information so they know how to solve problems, recognize and manage their emotions, and reach out for help when they need it. And of course, we are here to support teachers and parents too!

Can you give me some examples of what you teach kids?

Yes, for sure! Over the years, here are some examples of classroom lessons we’ve done with students:

  • All about the Brain
  • Red light, Green light problem solving
  • 7 Habits of Happy Kids curriculum
  • Superflex social thinking curriculum
  • MindUp
  • Zones of Regulation
  • Empathy
  • Friendship
  • Respect
  • Healthy eating
  • Hygiene
  • Getting ready for high school
  • Self-esteem and body image
  • Leadership skills
  • And so much more!

wep-pic-main-2Why is it important to talk about mental health?

The research shows that the more students know about their mental health, the better they’re able to cope with stressful situations and reach out for help when they need it. Also, the better able students can control and manage their mental health, the better they do at school! Can you imagine sitting at school all day and trying to learn when you’re being bullied by kids in your classroom?

That would be pretty tough! So we need to teach students about mental health so that they’re not only happier and healthy, but they tend to perform better in school!

Who are the coaches at each school? How can I get hold of them?

Great question!

For Mountain View during the 2015-2016 school year, your success coaches will be Leanne Fay and Morgan Dick.

For Ogden during the 2015-2016 school year, your success coaches will be Nicolle Plumb and Morgan Dick.

The coaches are NOT at the school full-time, so if you need to chat with them, call the school and book an appointment to make sure you can see them.

I have some questions about the program, who can I contact?

Jaime Goodison is the project coordinator of WEP and has been with the team since they started in 2008! You can email her at: JaimeGoodison@renfreweducation.org

Fun Brain Facts!

  1. About 85% of the total weight of a human brain is the Cerebrum—the region of the brain responsible for motor control. The average weight of the male brain is 1,336 grams and the female brain is 1,198 grams. As we age the weight of the brain decreases.
  2. Humans have the largest brain in terms of size ratio when compared to other creatures in the world. Elephants are considered as having the largest brain, which is partially true.
  3. The adult human brain weighs nearly 1.5 kilograms (3 pounds). While it makes up only 2% of a person’s weight, it consumes around 20-30% of the total energy.  That is why glucose (sugar) is drained so fast in the brain.
  4. A brain produces almost enough energy to light a bulb. On an average, a brain produces up to 30 – 35 watts at the time of awakening. The main energy source of the most energy hungry organ is glucose.
  5. A brain uses approximately 20% of whole blood and oxygen flowing through the body to perform actions like yawning and intelligence. A person can lose consciousness if the brain is deprived of oxygen for around 7-9 seconds.
  6. Yawning is the body’s way of cooling down an overheated brain. In addition, when your brain does not receive the appropriate amount of oxygen, the yawn is said to provide the remaining amount of oxygen to the brain.
  7. The brain consists of around 150,000 miles of the blood vessels, working perfectly in high speed. Providing blood and oxygen to the brain, these vessels are said to be strong and can bear high tension.
  8. There are two types of tissues in a human brain—white matter (60%) and gray matter (40%). Transmission of signals in the brain is carried out by both of these matters. The gray matter, consisting of neurons, plays a major role in transmission of signals. It can act in both sending and receiving modes.
  9. During pregnancy, the fetal brain develops at an amazing rate. There are about 251,000 neurons added every single minute. In accordance with that, there could be nearly 1,000 – 10,000 synapses just for a single neuron. Cells will continue to develop for several years after birth.
  10. Creating neural pathways and reshaping existing neurons is called neuroplasticity. This is the brain’s way to become more efficient and faster at completing tasks. As the brain ages through childhood the neural pathways used grow stronger and the pathways less used begin to diminish. Different tasks rely on different pathways and these pathways have the ability to change and grow—even as an adult.

(Reference: http://examinedexistence.com/21-interesting-facts-about-our-brain/)

Events

Hats on for Mental Health Day – May 3rd

April 28th, 2017|0 Comments

Hats On!.. Hats on For Mental Health Day is on Wednesday, May 3, 2017. Almadina students and staff are invited to wear a hat to school to raise awareness of the importance of good mental

Understanding Your Child’s Mental Health by Andrew Baxter

February 27th, 2017|0 Comments

The Wellness Empowerment Program brings you "Understanding Your Child's Mental Health" presented by Andrew Baxter of Alberta Health Services. This event will take place on March 14, 2017 from 7:00pm - 8:30pm at Sir Wilfrid Laurier -819 32

Pink Shirt Day at Almadina!

February 27th, 2017|0 Comments

On February 22nd, people all over the world were encouraged to practice kindness and wear a pink shirt to symbolize that they do not tolerate bullying. Pink Shirt Day started in with two incredible high school