A Well Place to Be: The Intersection of Canadian School-Based Mental Health Policy with Student and Teacher Resiliency


  • Mary Ott Western University
  • Kathy Hibbert Western University
  • Susan Rodger Western University
  • Alan Leschied Western University


This policy analysis identifies and critiques dominant narratives in the school-based mental health (SBMH) movement in Canada, with an eye to the ideas and resources being mobilized. The policy narratives were identified as SBMH problems and solutions, represented by the websites and links to other resources of the ministries and departments of education in Canada. There are three areas under-represented in the policy narratives that deserve more nuanced attention in SBMH initiatives; these are (a) to work with educators to develop communities of practice on school mental health around the notion of resiliency, (b) to consider the structural and material factors that affect people’s ability to be resilient at school, and (c) to extend the current focus on promoting student wellness to include teacher wellness. We ground these recommendations by contrasting the policy narratives with the story of our work with educators on a website about resiliency through the lenses of positive psychological health and a sociomaterial perspective on resources. We suggest that a sociomaterial approach to SBMH initiatives, using conceptual tools from implementation science and workplace psychological health, may help both students and teachers develop resiliency.

Author Biographies

Mary Ott, Western University

Mary Ott is a Research Associate at Western's Faculty of Education, studying curriculum projects using critical narrative research and sociomaterial methods and perspectives on learning.

Kathy Hibbert, Western University

Dr. K. Hibbert, Ph. D.

Associate Professor, Curriculum Studies

Faculty of Education

Centre Researcher, CERI (Centre for Education Research and Innovation, Schulich School of Medcine)

Susan Rodger, Western University

Dr. S. Rodger, Ph. D.

Associate Professor, Applied Pyschology

Faculty of Education

Alan Leschied, Western University

Dr. A. Leschied, Ph. D.

Professor, Applied Psychology

Faculty of Education




How to Cite

Ott, M., Hibbert, K., Rodger, S., & Leschied, A. (2017). A Well Place to Be: The Intersection of Canadian School-Based Mental Health Policy with Student and Teacher Resiliency. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 40(2), 1–30. Retrieved from https://journals.sfu.ca/cje/index.php/cje-rce/article/view/2243