The minds of our youth: a needs assessment of mental health education and promotion in schools

Pardy, Krystal Dawn (2012) The minds of our youth: a needs assessment of mental health education and promotion in schools. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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With an increasing number of youth identified with mental health conditions, schools have recognized this factor as an educational concern. Mental health is a component of student well-being and academic success. It is a building block for elements of learning and a teachable subject. Students can learn stress management, coping skills, and resiliency; components that should be a part of our educational system. Providing support for mild to moderate mental health problems in schools would allow students to receive timely support in a natural environment and allow medical professionals to focus on students with severe mental illnesses. In order for schools to offer mental health support, they must understand the needs of their population and evaluate the availability of services. In this study, using a qualitative approach, 10 educators were interviewed: five school counsellors and five administrators. The participants provided information on their experiences in addressing mental health in schools. This paper was designed to (1) discover the current role of mental health in schools, (2) identify the barriers to mental health promotion in schools, and (3) provide an opportunity for educators to voice their perspectives on mental health education. The findings of the study indicated that in order for schools to provide approaches that will positively influence mental health, they must acquire a deeper understanding of student behaviour and have ongoing professional development for school staff. Support from external organizations and governmental departments are essential in this venture, and societal expectations and perceptions will also affect the success of school mental health programming. These findings suggest that schools in Newfoundland and Labrador are not yet prepared to provide adequate mental health education. More collaboration and interagency dialogue between health and education are needed to provide effective mental health services to students.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11198
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 86-98).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2012
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Youth--Mental health--Newfoundland and Labrador; Students--Mental health--Newfoundland and Labrador; Health education (Middle school)--Newfoundland and Labrador; School mental health services--Newfoundland and Labrador.

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