Mental Well-Being Focus of HSCDSB Faith Day

Psychologist Dr. Pat Carney
Psychologist Dr. Pat Carney

The Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board (HSCDSB) will focus on the well-being of students, staff and entire school communities at its upcoming Faith Day on Monday, September 29, 2014. It is the second of six professional development days on the 2014-15 school year calendar.

Our day will begin with a celebration of the Eucharist with the priests of the city and district parishes joining our Catholic learning community. This year our Board theme is Exploring Paths of Joy and we are coming together to pray, sing and learn.

The day will bridge two of the foci of our Multi Year Strategic Plan – Catholicity and Supportive Environments and Well-Being. There will be a collection for the Helping Hands and Caring Hearts fund which supports students in families who struggle to make ends meet. As well we will hear an update from our partners on the Journey project. The Board will also be introducing its As One fundraising campaign. The goal of this campaign is to raise $4 million which will fund enhancements to the new St. Mary’s College, such as a performing arts theatre and artificial turf field.

Psychologist Dr. Pat Carney will be the guest speaker in a morning presentation to all Board employees at Mount St. Joseph Centre. Dr. Carney’s presentation will focus on how everyone in a school community can be instrumental in raising resilient and caring children by developing within them a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, relationships and personal dignity.

Dr. Carney is the Chief Psychologist for the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board and is a member of the Ministry of Education’s Mental Health ASSIST coaching team.

“Dr. Carney’s presentation will be invaluable, considering he has first-hand knowledge of all the dynamics involved in a Catholic school community. We know his presentation will tie together efforts that can promote well-being in our school communities and to the homes of the families we serve,” said HSCDSB Mental Health Lead, Kerri Dool.

Dr. Carney will also be the lead presenter at a free workshop on the evening of Sunday, September 28, 2014 for parents and caregivers. His presentation will run from 7:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. in the Amphitheatre at St. Basil Secondary School. This event is open to the public and you can confirm your attendance by going to or by calling 705-945-5400.

“As the Board follows the province’s lead in focusing on well-being for the students in our care, their families and our employees, a presentation such as Dr. Carney’s will show how we interact with our students is crucial to student achievement and success,” said HSCDSB Director of Education, John Stadnyk.

On the afternoon of Faith Day, Sault Ste. Marie school staff members will return to their schools for a workshop which focuses on how to recognize anxiety in students and staff. Staff of district schools will attend the same workshop at the Mount St. Joseph Centre.

“This workshop will show our staff, particularly those in the classrooms, how to deal effectively with an anxious student in the short-term and long-term. What they learn can help in creating a stable and calm learning environment for students and staff,” said Dool.

You can view the Board’s efforts in implementing its strategic directions by visiting