Marian Anderberg is running for school trustee in SD73, hoping to put mental health in the spotlight during her tenure.
The social worker and mother of a student in the district said she will use her experience to make mental health something that is OK to talk about.
“I see this as an opportunity to join the conversation and make a difference around prevention because, as a social worker, you don’t do a lot of prevention,”
Anderberg was born and raised in Kamloops and attended Thompson Rivers University (then University College of the Cariboo) before beginning work as a social worker in the city in 1999.
Anderberg, 49, said her entire career has been spent supporting children and families.
“Supporting students in crisis is something I’ve got good experience with, so I can provide that perspective of what a system should look like to respond in a good way,” she said.
Public life would be somewhat of a shift for Anderberg, she noted, adding she is stepping outside of her comfort zone to try to make a difference.
“If we can start that with young kids early on, we’re going to change the next generation. We’re going to make it OK for them for the rest of their lives,” she said.
Anderberg said she is used to having difficult conversations and is also familiar with working with government ministries.
Another issue on Anderberg’s radar is that of overcrowding and new schools.
“I’m not coming at this with an axe to grind. I’m not coming in overly critical of the work that has been done. I certainly acknowledge that there are needs within the district — we need some new spaces. We need some new schools,” she said.
SD73 has made a number of catchment area changes to manage student populations in schools, but overcrowding remains a problem, with a number of schools more than 150 per cent over their intended capacity, forcing them to rely on portables and sacrifice multi-purpose spaces to continue teaching.
Anderberg said she hopes to “add to the pool of voices” calling upon the provincial government