Ryan Painter, a local mental health and anti-stigma activist, announced his candidacy for trustee of the Greater Victoria School District in the Oct. 20 election. Photo contributed

Mental health activist running for seat on Greater Victoria School District board

Ryan Painter aims to build better strategies for youth: “We’re in a mental health crisis”

Ryan Painter, a self-described mental health and anti-stigma activist, has announced his intent to run for trustee of the Greater Victoria School Board in the Oct. 20 municipal election.

“We’re in a mental health crisis, and we need to start looking at building strategies and methods of providing youth and young adults with the tools they need to address life’s most complex challenges,” Painter said.

The 34-year-old administrative officer with the University of Victoria Faculty Association said in a release his aim is to “inject new energy, fresh ideas, and a bold vision for how the school board engages with the broader community.”

His five-point plan includes; advocating for the implementation of a district-wide mental health framework; ensuring each SD61 school has a dedicated youth co-ordinator; holding monthly open houses in all SD61 communities; and holding monthly meetings with teacher and staff union reps as well as with school administrators.

RELATED: Centre for youth seeking mental health and addictions support opens in Victoria

Having struggled with depression and mental illness himself, Painter felt earlier intervention would have significantly shaped his outcome. In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was no real engagement on student mental health and wellness, he said.

“Knowing I wasn’t alone and that people cared would have provided me with a soft place to land.”

With experience as an organizer and community advocate, Painter hopes to bring new energy and innovative ideas to the board while actively engaging with parents, advocates, teachers and others concerned about education in the region.

“At my heart I’m all about people and engaging constituents where they live, work, and play to understand what their needs and concerns are,” he said.

For more information on the candidate, visit RyanPainter.ca or follow him on Twitter @votepainter.

kristyn.anthony@vicnews.com

Greater Victoria School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Ojibwe man marks completion of five-day ‘healing walk’ from Hope to Saanich

Claremont Secondary students join celebration in Cordova Bay

MISSING: Saanich police search for 18-year-old last seen Sept. 9

Robyn Coker-Steel has short purple hair, frequents downtown Victoria

PHOTOS: 2nd calf in a month confirmed among Southern Resident killer whale pod

Center for Whale Research said they will eagerly await to observe the calf to evaluate its health

Saanich police encourage safe driving habits as rain leads to pooling on roadways

Slow down, inspect vehicle ahead of driving in wet autumn weather

Victoria police seek suspect in parkade break and enter

Cycling gear, tools reported stolen from vehicle, storage locker

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Most Read