Calm the Storm

Welcome to Calm the Storm. This website was developed by Kim El Ghazal and myself as part of our Ottawa Catholic School Board Innovation Fund Project. Through which we sought to incorporate the OCSB Strategic Goals and the Board’s theme, Seek Justice, into a unit for elementary level students about Mental Health. This unique resource fulfills the Board’s three strategic goals: Be Community, Be Well and Be Innovative.


Here, are various resources for successfully engaging Kindergarten to Grade 6 students in meaningful discussions about mental health and well-being. They are designed to be used in classrooms and schools during Canadian Mental Health Week, May 5-10, 2019. And subsequently used to keep the discussion going throughout the year.

Too often, students find themselves caught in the midst of a raging internal storm. Triggered by everyday stressors or life-altering events, sometimes the storms they experience while wreaking havoc within, are not visible outside.

Faith plays a powerful role in calming the storm within. Praying for intercession and seeking help, calm the storm.

“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,

And he brought them out of their distress.

He stilled the storm to a whisper;

The waves of the sea were hushed.

They were glad when it grew calm,

and he guided them to their desired haven.”

                              (Psalm 107)

In a school with a climate that is open to discussing mental health, students are safe to share, speak up, seek help and experience well-being.They can calm their storm and step into a better place. For each of us, that haven is a place in which we, “Seek justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.” (Micah 6:8).

abigail-keenan-27297-unsplashKim and I offer this heartfelt thanks to the Ottawa Catholic School Board for supporting this project through its Innovation Fund. As well as to the Eastern Ontario Catholic Cooperative Corporation for granting permission for usage of Mental Health and Wellness for Catholic Schools: Feelings, Emotions, Resiliency and the Dignity of the Whole Being (2013 and 2019). And to the University of Ottawa, Faculty of Education for their support and involvement.

Special thanks and acknowledgement to: Dr. Elizabeth Paquette, Dr. Jess Whitley. Leanne Stanton, Svetlana Maleva and Meagan Fuller.

Thank you for helping to make mental health a priority in our schools.

Laurie Azzi and Kim El Ghazal

Teachers,  Ottawa Catholic School Board