News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 23, 2021

Province Announces Additional Funding for Mental Health Programs for Teachers, Staff, Students Dealing with the Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic

The Manitoba government is investing an additional $230,000 for additional mental health and wellness programs and services to support students, teachers and staff in Manitoba schools during the pandemic, Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery Minister Audrey Gordon and Education Minister Cliff Cullen announced today.

“The Manitoba government remains committed to protecting Manitobans during the COVID-19 pandemic and this means ensuring our school communities have access to services they need to support their mental health during this time,” said Gordon. “We’re investing in programs and services that will provide additional mental health and wellness supports for youth and educators.”

New mental health and addictions initiatives and supports announced today will help protect and assist educators with mental health and wellness concerns including an additional $170,000 to provide additional supports targeted at the education community through the Canadian Mental health Association (CMHA).

The CMHA supports will include service navigation specialists and peer support, which will help school staff as they continue to experience the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The service navigation specialists provide direct service and link individuals to other services across the CMHA, as well as provide brief counselling services to support individuals in addressing immediate concerns while awaiting other services.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the mental health and wellness of Manitobans of all ages and backgrounds,” said Cullen. “The education community is facing unique pandemic-related situations while continuing the high quality of classroom learning for Manitoba’s students, and these programs will help families and support educators as they provide these important services.”

The province is also investing an additional $60,000 to expand the Families and Schools Together program. The program is offered virtually through the summer months when many other resources are unavailable to help mediate the mental health implications of social isolation and loneliness for vulnerable populations.

Multiple families of children of similar ages are brought together through weekly virtual gatherings. Families are guided through evidence-based activities that help parents learn to be firmly in charge of and lovingly connected to their children. Families also receive an in-person check in and the ingredients and recipe for their family meal delivered to their door, along with all supplies required for that week’s learning activities.

The ministers noted the Better Education Starts Today strategy includes a priority action to partner with Manitoba Mental Health, Wellness and Recovery to build on enhanced mental health programming introduced during the pandemic.

Today’s announcement builds on previous investments announced recently for school based mental health supports during the pandemic including:
• $400,000 for the Remote Learning Support Centre for new student services to ensure additional clinical positions are put in place to provide direct, individual support to students struggling with mental health needs in the remote learning environment;
• $150,000 for Kids Help Phone and Sources of Strength projects and a pilot of the Working Mind program for school staff/workplaces; and
• $207,000 to build on an existing partnership with True North Youth Foundation and its Project 11 program, provides an engaging cross-curricular proactive mental wellness program that targets Manitoba’s health education and language arts outcomes for students in kindergarten to Grade 8.

“The investments in these and other mental health and addictions initiatives will ensure school communities struggling to cope with the effects of the pandemic are able to access services in person and remotely,” said Gordon. “Increased needs have been identified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and these investments will ensure supports are available and accessible.”

For more information on the Better Education Starts Today strategy, visit:

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