Mental Health

Mental Health Capacity Building: Successful Families-Successful Kids

child's drawing with tagline successful families successful kids

Successful Families-Successful kids is one of 37 projects in the province-wide Mental Health Capacity Building (MHCB) in Schools initiative with funding from Alberta Health Services. 

The MHCB initiative is based on the belief that mental and emotional wellbeing can be developed, nurtured and supported through promotion and prevention efforts. When individuals, communities and agencies work together to promote mental and emotional well-being in whole populations of children, youth, and families, we can enhance mental health and decrease addiction as well as the negative impacts of mental illness.

The MHCB initiative objectives aligned under the Integrated Tier Model of Care are as follows:

  1. To promote positive mental health in children, youth, families and communities by raising awareness, increasing knowledge, building personal skills (such as self-care and self-regulation techniques), developing interpersonal skills and fostering positive community norms (such as support networks, physical and psychological safety).
  2. To intervene early by facilitating access to early intervention and treatment services for children, youth, parents and/or caregivers who are at greatest risk of (or are currently experiencing) addiction and mental health issues. (This includes the use of screening as indicated by AHS).
  3. Improve knowledge of and access to effective and innovative services across the mental health continuum through community collaborative networks with schools, health supports, and community agencies to coordinate and streamline existing services (while identifying and advocating for unmet needs).

The MHCB project has been operating in Northern Lights Public Schools since 2007 and currently has projects at the following schools:

Alberta health Services logo with tagline mental health capacity building in schools
  • Aurora Middle School- MHCB Wellness Coach, Madeline Belanger 
    ​Telephone (780) 623-4129, Email:
  • Caslan School-MHCB Wellness Coach, Shelley Handel
    Telephone (780) 689-2118, Email:
  • Cold Lake Middle School-MHCB Wellness Coach, Elizabeth Cornell
    Telephone (780) 594-5623
  • Kikino Metis Settlement School-MHCB Wellness Coach, Dana Lameman
    Telephone (780) 623-3153, Email:
  • North Star Elementary School-MHCB Wellness Coach, Pennylynn Heffner
    Telephone (780) 594-3232, Email:
  • Vera M Welsh School-MHCB Wellness Coach, Bonnie Collins
    Telephone (780) 623-4672, Email:
  • MHCB Project Coordinator-Jana McKinley
    Telephone (780) 623-4414, Email:


What is an MHCB Wellness Coach?

Successful Families-Successful Kids MHCB Wellness Coaches are funded through the province-wide Mental Health Capacity Building in Schools initiative to provide mental health prevention and promotion programming at our project schools and in the community. Some of our services/programs include:

  • Relaxation groups
  • Rainbows grief and loss groups
  • Yoga & Mindfulness sessions
  • Roots of Empathy
  • Boy’s Council/Girl’s Circle
  • Workshops on a variety of mental health topics (trauma, anxiety, grief, etc…)
  • Parent information and support
  • Collaboration with and referrals to community agencies
  • Student information sessions/Wellness classes on a  variety of topics including: emotional literacy, healthy relationships, relaxation skills, and self-esteem
  • Universal mental health prevention and promotion activities.
  • Mental health information/displays at community events
  • Large scale community mental health events-i.e. Mental Health Awareness Week BBQ