Dr. Claire Crooks and her team at the Centre for School Mental Health at Western University undertook a two year evaluation of STRONG focusing on feasibility, implementation, and student impact.


Being part of the STRONG group helped students build trust, increase confidence, and develop a sense of belonging. Students demonstrated significant improvement in resiliency and coping skills.

“The coping skills are what will stay with you forever. Whenever you are in a stressful situation, you will always remember what to do, and what advice they gave you on how to handle situations, look at it from a different point of view, and how to make yourself stronger.”  - Student

STRONG clinicians discuss its IMPACT:


What were the biggest

successes of STRONG?

How do you think STRONG impacted students who participated?

What would you say to a school or clinician who is considering implementing STRONG?

“The benefits included a greater understanding of the culture, plight, and norms of the group of girls we had participating in the group. I was incredibly humbled by their experiences and the attitudes they have regarding these. While the group built upon their resiliency, I learned that they are and have been resilient throughout their pre-migration, migration, and post. I was also moved by the strength of the family relationships and their reliance on faith/beliefs to guide them through challenging times.”

- Secondary clinician

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“TCDSB is thrilled to have partnered with the STRONG team in the development and pilot of such an innovative school counselling model. STRONG responds to a crucial need in supporting student newcomer mental health, and will help ensure a good start for newcomer students in Ontario.”

- Mental Health Leader