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McBride Centennial Elementary
News Item

Global Conflict - Local Supports

February 25, 2022


International conflicts can have very local impacts, in this small world of ours.

School District 57 recognizes that the conflict between Ukraine and Russia is drawing global attention. For some of our staff, students, and their families there are personal connections to that region.

Even those who are not linked directly might be feeling valid emotions as the concerning events unfold. News reports and social media content are delivering sounds and images that can spark very real reactions, which are even more acute if there are personal connections as well.  For all ages, it is natural to feel worry, concern, fear, anger, sadness, confusion - a whole range of emotions despite the distance between here and the conflict.

We encourage discussion on these dynamic topics. Students and staff alike will have questions and feel the urge to talk about it. Calm, empathetic conversation can be part of easing concerns and identifying areas for help. Children will especially be looking to their teachers and principals for emotional leadership.

Students and staff have resources available to help understand and process these emotions.

School District 57 offers students the support of counsellors at each school, plus clinicians assigned as needed to each location in the district. There is also the option of The Foundry for student mental health support. All those options can be accessed through any teacher or principal, or contact The Foundry directly. You can drop in at 1148 7th Avenue (across from City Hall) or call them at: 236-423-1571.

Staff can reach out for help through Walmsley & Associates, our established mental health and counselling partner: 250-992-9525

B.C.'s Deputy Minister of Education, Christina Zacharuk, said that supports were in place province-wide.

"The invasion of Ukraine may resurface difficult feelings and trauma for students, teachers, staff and families," Zacharuk said. "The Ministry encourages you to be mindful of how these troubling events may impact you and those around you. In this uncertain time, please continue to prioritize mental health and the well-being of students, their families, teachers and staff. Conversations about significant global events can be challenging, however it is important that children have caring adults around them to help make sense of the world and feel safe. The following resources provide tips for teachers and parents that we hope are helpful for your schools."

Conflicts and world events out of our control still affect us here. Together, with care for each other and recognition of our own feelings, we can share our way through hard times. 

Resources For You – Just A Click Away:

How to Talk with Students about the Russia-Ukraine War: Includes 5 tips to help teachers and principals talk to students thoughtfully and appropriately about what is going on in Ukraine.

How to Talk to Kids About Violence, Crime, and War: Common Sense Media gathers tips and conversation starters to help you talk to kids of different ages about the toughest topics.

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of elementary school children: This article from the American Psychological Association can help adults guide their young children beyond fear and to resilience.

Resilience in a time of war: Tips for parents and teachers of middle school children: The American Psychological Association breaks out tips and strategies for parents and teachers of middle school-aged children.

National Child Traumatic Stress Network: Provides resources that can be filtered by topic or keyword and by audience with a focus on how adults can identify traumatic responses in young people and how to support them.