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NNDSB wellness hubs returning this summer

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Drop-in wellness hubs for students are once again being supplied by the Near North District School Board (NNDSB).

The drop-in hubs will be running until Aug. 18, and are described as “places where students can connect in person, engage in fun activities and learn tips to cope with stress”.

NNDSB child development counsellors and educational assistants will be on hand and taking “a complete approach to well-being, providing support and tools for physical, mental, emotional and social well-being.”

NNDSB acting mental health lead, Lana St. Louis, said the staff at the drop-ins build stress management skills into fun activities, like journaling and mindfulness.

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Activities happening at the wellness hubs include journaling, creating healthy meals and physical activities.

St. Louis also noted that one of the ways the pandemic has impacted many older children and adolescents’ mental health is through “social malnutrition”. The wellness hubs provide an opportunity for outside of the school year for students to be with peers, make new friends and practice social skills with the support of a trained counsellor.

Even though they drop-in and leave anytime, St. Louis said most students stay for the whole day. All are welcome to drop in at the hubs at any time, however, students under the age of 12 require a signed parental consent form.

“This is the second year the program is running. The students who attended last year enjoyed the program and the staff were able to make connections with students that continued into the school year,” St. Louis said.

In North Bay, the hub is operated at OUTLoud, 123 Delaware Ave. Tuesdays to Thursdays from 11:30 to 3 p.m. for ages 10 to 18. For more information, email brianne.macdowell@nearnorthschools.ca.

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