Youth Mental Health Canada Responds to Covid19 Mental Health Issues and Re-Entry into the Classroom

News Release

For Immediate Release

August 24, 2020



HAMILTON, Ont. — Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC) is taking action to support the mental health and wellness of students as they prepare to re-enter the classroom after a six-month absence and an uncertain COVID educational future.  A COVID mental wellness journal workbook has been developed by Executive Director and Educator Sheryl Boswell  to provide young people with coping tools to help them work through the mental health challenges they might be experiencing, gain self and emotional awareness and increase their sources of strength and resilience with problem solving, stress management and mental wellness strategies, action plans and self-care and community care awareness. The protective factors featured in the workbook titled, In This Together: My Life During a Global Pandemic, provide best practice exercises and activities in supporting the mental wellness of young people.


Back to School Anxiety: How to Prepare for COVID Classroom Realities

For many young people, as well as educators, the mental health implications of going back to school are anxiety-inducing. Though some children eagerly anticipate seeing their friends again, others are experiencing profound anxiety about how their lives will change this September. They may be worried about getting sick or making their loved ones sick. Re-entry into the classroom and school building also represents another major shift in routine after half a year of unpredictable upheaval. We all have been impacted by the pandemic and this shared experience has normalized the conversation on mental health and impressed upon us the importance of finding ways to support our mental health and wellness.

Resources and Strategies to Prepare for School

YMHC has a new COVID mental wellness journal workbook, In This Together: My Life During a Global Pandemic that is available for pre-order now.  The workbook has been reviewed by internationally known and respected mental health and suicide prevention experts. Here are their comments:

"This mental wellness resource from Youth Mental Health Canada is something every young person should have. Like a daily fitness routine, the workbooks provide practices and action steps that can help build the mental muscle of resilience for when hard times hit. They also help youth focus on building a life worth living while also putting a personal safety plan in place for when they are challenged by what life throws their way. The tools and resources embodied in these workbooks are best practices in helping youth build the emotional intelligence they will need to survive and thrive now and in the years ahead," Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, President United Suicide Survivors International and Board Member of American Association of Suicidology (

As rates of anxiety, depression and suicide among our youth increase, we need creative and approachable solutions. The resources developed by YMHC will allow countless young people and their families to learn strategies that enhance overall wellness and make it easier for educators to tackle tough but increasingly essential topics.”

- Dr. John Ackerman, suicide prevention coordinator for the Center for Suicide Prevention and Research at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio


This pandemic is reminding us how important it is to stay connected and find ways to get support. Now more than ever, we are being asked to take better care of each other. We are in this together and the difference will be in how we support the mental health and wellness of youth. Finding ways to cope with these changes will make youth, families, and communities much stronger and more resilient.

Youth Mental Health Canada (YMHC/YMHC Charitable Foundation) is a grass roots, community-based, youth-led non-profit organization focused on youth, family and educator engagement for mental health education, support, advocacy and change.  For more information, go to


More Information

Sheryl Boswell

Executive Director, YMHC

Phone: (647)952-9642