Partnership with Pine River Institute

SCDSB to sign official partnership with Pine River Institute in support of mental health and well-being
Posted on 10/29/2021
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) and The Centre for Family Initiatives Pine River Institute ([email protected]) have committed to work together to support student mental health and well-being with SCDSB families and staff, as well as within its school communities. On Nov. 1 at 1 p.m. they will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at the Pine River Institute (PRI).

The MOU will serve as a commitment by SCDSB and PRI staff to promote cooperation and collaboration between the two institutions. The partnership will include a comprehensive learning series promoting the positive mental health and well-being of students. 

“This collaboration will enhance the support that we are able to provide our students in fostering and maintaining positive mental health,” says SCDSB Director of Education John Dance. “The partnership between the SCDSB and PRI is an important step towards our continued goal of increased health and well-being of students and staff.”

"We are delighted to partner with the SCDSB to extend our knowledge and experience in treating youth mental health and addictions to families, educators and community agencies in Simcoe Country. Over the next three years, [email protected] will share PRI's evidence informed expertise on empathic and attuned practices for working with children and teens,” states Vaughan Dowie, Pine River Institute CEO. “Using a developmental maturity model to understand behaviours and addiction, we hope to start new conversations about what's going on for some of our most challenging youth and provide adults with fresh approaches to addressing behaviours so they can build connection and resiliency in youth.”

The MOU will continue for a period of three years, at which time it may be extended by agreement of both parties.

PRI is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. [email protected] extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions.  Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at

Members of the media interested in attending the signing of the MOU are asked to call PRI at 519-925-9225, ext. 101, in advance. COVID protocols will be in place, and activities will take place outdoors.

This initiative links directly to the SCDSB’s Strategic Priorities under the pillar of Community and Well-being.

Charlene Scime, Superintendent of Leadership Development and Educational Partnerships,
[email protected]