Bringing Mental Health to Schools: A Mental Health Literacy Curriculum Resource for Grades 8-10

Issues 

Mental health literacy is the foundation for mental health promotion, prevention and care and can be successfully implemented through classroom based curriculum interventions that have been researched and shown to significantly, substantially and sustainably improve mental health related outcomes for students and teachers. A Canadian-developed, nationally and internationally-researched resource, the Guide (https://www.frayme.ca/projects/mental-health-literacy-students-and-educa...) previously delivered only through face-to-face training – is now available online through the Faculty of Eduction at the University of British Columbia. This allows for the resource to be easily accessed by teachers in every part of Canada, helping to break down geographical and cost barriers to training on the use of the Guide resource. With this online professional education opportunity, educators will learn how to apply this classroom-ready, web-based, modular mental health curriculum resource as well as upgrade their own mental health literacy. Educators can then use this curriculum resource in their schools to successfully address mental health related curriculum outcomes designed to be delivered by usual classroom teachers to students in grades 8 – 10. Teachers who take the online course can obtain professional development certification from the Faculty of Education at UBC.

Solutions 

Schools are ideally placed to help individuals and communities develop good mental health literacy. Not only can students be easily and frugally reached through schools but teachers, parents, caregivers and others involved in helping young people grow and develop can participate in school based mental health literacy interventions and thus enhance their own mental health literacy. This online course provides easy and frugal access to training on the evidence-based Guide resource. Its classroom application has been demonstrated to significantly, substantially and sustainably improve mental health literacy in students and teachers alike.

Impact 

The course has registered over 1,000 participants since its launch in October 2017. The majority residing in British Columbia, however each Canadian province as well as the Northwest Territories is represented. Participants consist of educators of various grade levels, those working in special education, health teachers and school administrators. As a result of the accessible professional learning, the North and West Vancouver school boards have begun implementation of the Guide resource in every grade nine classroom in their districts. Students in particular have expressed very positive feedback with possible growth of the program in other schools in British Columbia. For firsthand accounts of the impact of the resource in classrooms view this Global News story: https://globalnews.ca/video/3876531/north-shore-school-districts-introdu...

Details