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Building mental wellness


This five part series was developed in collaboration with and for use by the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board that serve more than 80,000 students. The two boards appointed a steering group led by project manager/liaison and five mental health professionals to work with Jacaranda Communications producer Michael Hostetler.


The steering group met five times for two hour sessions to define success, establish target audiences, guiding principles, timelines, and storyboards, identify stories to tell and locations to work with. This provided the foundation on which to produce the series. During this time, concepts were tested with other members of the school board. Rather than focus on specific mental health issues such as depression or anxiety, the steering group focused on steps to build mental wellness. They defined the target audience as educators which included faculty and staff, including any one working in direct contact with students.

Students, faculty and staff as well as mental health professionals participated in giving shape to the content which helped build ownership and engagement leading to mental wellness in the school systems.

With direction firmly in place, the production team was able to move into pre-production and the subsequent stages of production with confidence.

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