The Academy in Mental Health for Educators: A new opportunity

Posted on 07/07/2011 | 1 Comments

We have been working in the area of school mental health for some years now and have created a variety of programs and educational resources for educators, health providers, youth and parents. Over and over again we have heard from teachers, social workers, psychologists, nurses, principals, school superintendents and others about the need to provide more training for educators in the area of youth mental health and a better understanding of youth mental disorders. Over and over again we have heard that a summer program would be a good venue in which this could be done. So guess what – we listened and decided to do exactly that. Our first Academy in Mental Health for Educators will start next week – in Halifax, Nova Scotia. As far as we know, this is the first event of its kind ever in the Atlantic Provinces.

So what will happen at this Academy. First, it will take place over a two day period – actually two such two day periods. The first will be on a Monday/Tuesday and the second, on a Thursday/Friday will be a repeat of the first session.   There are a variety of different topics to be covered. These range from detailed information about common mental disorders in youth to advice on how to talk to teens and parents to understanding medications and their role in treatment to specific “classroom pearls” for helping young people who are living with a mental disorder be more successful in the school setting. Participants will also be exposed to a variety of useful and effective educational materials and programs.

We are really excited about the program and our presenters. In addition to key members of our Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health Team, presenters will include psychiatrists; psychologists; teachers and others who work with youth, families and educators. We hope that the program will be fun and informative for all who attend. One of the fun components will be a “Halifax dine around” evening where participants can sign up to join one of the presenters for dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants in the city. Not only may people discover a great new place to eat, but they will have the chance to chat to an expert in the field – and hopefully that will be both fun and informative!

As always, we will be evaluating how the Academy turns out. Not only in terms of participant satisfaction and improvement suggestions but also in terms of learning that has happened during the sessions. And, as always, we will be posting the results of this learning on our website. Frankly, I am both a bit excited and a bit nervous about this. What if our learning evaluation does not show a significant positive impact of the session on participants’ mental health knowledge? Or horrors of horrors, what if it shows a negative impact on participants’ mental health knowledge? At best that would be so embarrassing.

--Stan

*Photo Credit: Surian Soosay

What people are saying?

On September 26th, 2011 Sandy Allen said...

Hi Stan,

I am sure your program will be a learning success for the participants and your involvement almost assures that outcome.

I look forward to reading the evaluation and including your course as another resource for the MHFA Canada course.

Kind regards,
Sandy Allen
Program Direct, Mental Health First Aid Canada
Mental Health Commission of Canada

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