As an after-school leader, you play a critical role in helping the children and youth in your program to achieve the minimum quota of physical activity each day. You also play an important part in recognizing if a child is having fun and engaged, or that they are possibly demonstrating signs or symptoms that may represent a mental health (or other) issue. Note that these issues could appear/be witnessed in any child, but may be more commonly seen in children struggling from particular challenges (i.e. a divorce, a disability, etc.). If this is the case, it is important to bring these concerns forward to a parent/guardian.
Initiating a discussion on mental health with your staff about the important role they play in recognizing and addressing mental health challenges in children can present unique challenges. Some individuals may not feel informed, or comfortable to take on this type of opportunity. Because workplaces have traditionally not been the place where this topic is raised, the basic considerations in this article may be helpful.
Canadian Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical Activity (CAAWS)