Mind the Gap

Sunshine Coast Mind the Gap Project

Funded by Health Canada and coordinated by the Roberts Creek Community School, the Mind the Gap Project is a comprehensive series of trainings, programs and interventions to increase the social emotional capacity of the Lower Sunshine Coast school community.

Specific evidenced-based programs designed for students, teachers, parents and youth stakeholders will be delivered over a two and a half year period.

Research shows that during times of mental, emotional or physical transition, youth often have challenges choosing options that best serve their health, safety and goals. Our intention is to build the foundational social emotional capacity of youth in our community so that they are self-aware human beings, capable learners, compassionate and responsible citizens, making better choices for themselves and their community.

Our project approach is ‘ecological’. Ecological approaches view students mental health and wellness as a product of the interdependence between the student and the subsystems of the ecosystem, e.g. family, school environment, community and social environment.

Goals and Objectives

  • To build leadership capacity and increase community awareness and understanding of SEL and its importance in a healthy community
  • To support the implementation of evidence-based programs that teach the five SEL core competencies
  • To collect, share and understand common data to support and direct school and community initiatives that address SEL needs

Our Member Organizations: Vancouver Coastal Health, Ministry of Children & Families, School District 46, Capalino University Sechelt.

Grade 7 MindUp Curriculum

The MindUp curriculum is being offered to both Grade 7 classes of the Roberts Creek Elementary School. The students completed a 69 question baseline resiliency/wellness survey prior to the program. The baseline instrument has been developed by our external evaluator, Marg Penney, in collaboration with Jenna Whitehead, a graduate student of Dr. Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Applied Developmental Psychologist and an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology and Special Education at the University of British Columbia. The same survey will be delivered to the students at the end of the program and the comparative results will be included in our final report.

Roots of Empathy

Established in 1996, Roots of Empathy (ROE) is an award winning, evidence-based classroom program that has shown dramatic effect in reducing levels of aggression among school children while raising social/emotional competence and increasing empathy. More than 500,000 children have benefitted from the program world-wide.

At the heart of the program are a neighbourhood infant and parent who visit the classroom nine times over the school year. A trained ROE instructor visits the classroom 27 times over the year, working with the classroom teacher to help the children observe the baby’s development emotionally, physically and mentally. Students are guided in identifying the baby’s feelings and invited to reflect on their own feelings and the feelings of others. The emotional literacy taught in the program lays the foundation for more caring classrooms where children begin to sense the importance of understanding other people’s perspectives.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Educators

The MBSR Program was founded by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and has been taught at the University of Massachusetts Medical School since 1979 with over 3 decades of research documenting its role in health promotion.

The MBRS Program is an intensive, highly participatory training that cultivates the skills necessary for educators to become aware of and regulate their thoughts, emotions and behaviours to more effectively manage stress and improve health and well being; to enhance a sense of wholeness and happiness in one’s personal life and relationships, and to rekindle one’s motivation to teach.

We are fortunate to partner with a local highly skilled and experienced MBSR Facilitator, Dr. Rahul Gupta. Rahul is a major addition to our team and we look forward to offering this program again, as we already have a waiting list.

Mindfulness Enhanced Strengthening Families (MeSFP)

The Mindfulness Enhanced Strengthening Families Program (MeSFP) is an evidence-based nationally and internationally recognized parenting and family strengthening program. This seven week program improves parenting practices and is one of the most effective ways to support the qualities of mindful parenting. Woven through the program are concepts and practices related to mindfulness and mindful parenting. MeSFP is unique in that the whole family attends each session. Each seven week course is delivered by three trained facilitators and both the parents and children participate.

Project Overview

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