Canadian News

Improving Well-Being for Students Across Ontario

Province Boosting Active Transportation, Breakfast Programs to Help Students Thrive

Ontario is investing in new and expanded well-being programs for students across the province, to ensure that young people can reach their full potential and thrive inside and outside the classroom.

Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, was at St. Paul Catholic School in Toronto today to mark the first day of school and announce new funding for initiatives that boost the cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being of Ontario students, and help make schools inclusive, safe, and welcoming learning environments.

The new and expanded initiatives include:

  • Funding for active transportation, including walking school buses and biking to school programs that create more physical activity opportunities for students.
  • Doubling funding for school boards to support local well-being priorities, including school breakfast programs, bullying prevention, recreational activities, and staff professional development.
  • Increasing funding for School Mental Health ASSIST – a provincial support team that provides leadership, resources, and other support to help boards promote student mental health and well-being across Ontario.
  • New and expanded programming to support staff well-being and violence prevention in the classroom.

Supporting the well-being of students, educators and staff is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario is investing $49 million over three years to support student well-being, including: increasing support for school boards’ local well-being priorities from $6 to $12 million starting in the 2018-19 school year, increasing funding for School Mental Health ASSIST by $6 million over the next three years, $6 million in new and expanding programming to support staff well-being and classroom violence prevention, almost $4 million to expand active transportation options for students to and from school, and funding for other programs and supports to promote student well-being.
  • The investments were informed by feedback from thousands of people in Ontario over the past year.
  • The ministry continues to work with Indigenous partners and communities to co-develop indicators and supports for the well-being of Indigenous students.

Additional Resources


“As we begin this new school year, these new investments and initiatives will strengthen the well-being of all students in our schools. We know that students are better able to learn when they feel safe and welcome at school, and have the tools to lead their lives with confidence and resiliency. Our publicly funded education system remains equipped to support student success and achieve excellence in today’s rapidly changing world.”

Mitzie Hunter

Minister of Education

“Today’s announcement, increasing annual funding for School Mental Health ASSIST, will enhance mental health promotion and prevention efforts in schools across the province. This is a welcome investment in the well-being of all Ontario students.”

Dr. Kathy Short

Director of School Mental Health ASSIST

“We’re thrilled that Minister Hunter is making a powerful investment in student health and well-being by supporting active school travel. Green Communities Canada and our partner, Heart & Stroke, look forward to working with school communities across the province to boost walking, cycling, and all forms of active transportation.”

Clifford Maynes

Executive Director of Green Communities Canada

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