Innovation in school mental health literacy underway across Canada

HALIFAX, NS (August 21, 2018) – The team behind TeenMentalHealth.Org is working to improve mental health literacy in schools nationally through the launch of a new course, Teach Mental Health. Starting today, educators from across Canada will be able to access this free, best evidence-based, online mental health literacy curriculum hosted by the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia.

 

Approximately 70% of mental illnesses start before age 25, and 1 in 5 youth will experience a mental illness in their lifetime, and since most Canadian youth attend school, enhancing teacher’s mental health literacy is an important need.  However, a national scoping exercise conducted in 2014 found that pre-service teacher education programs rarely address mental health literacy, resulting in teacher candidates who are at a disadvantage when they enter the workforce.

 

Created in partnership with TeenMentalHealth.Org and faculties of education from St. Francis Xavier University, Western University and The University of British Columbia, Teach Mental Health has been developed in order to address this need.

 

“Teach Mental Health will help develop, foster and enhance mental health literacy for educators, and ultimately for students as well,” says Dr. Stan Kutcher of TeenMentalHealth.Org. “By taking the course, participants will improve their mental health literacy, which means they will develop a better understanding of mental illnesses, know how to help decrease stigma, be more informed about mental health care and be able to assist in the development of useful mental health strategies for their students and themselves. It will also provide educators the necessary literacy to foster positive mental health initiatives in schools, help create safe and supportive environments for their students, and aid in mental health promotion.”

 

The curriculum is open to all teacher candidates in faculties of education. It is also available to all educators working in schools including classroom teachers, administrators and other specialized roles such as resource teachers, learning support teachers and school based health services providers.

 

Registration for this course is free. Successful completers will receive a professional education certificate from the three partner faculties of education. The course is self-paced to allow participants to work on their own time. The estimated time commitment is approximately 8 hours.

 

Register today at teachmentalhealth.org.

 

ABOUT TEENMENTALHEALTH.ORG

 

TeenMentalHealth.Org uses the best scientific evidence available to develop application-ready professional learning programs, publications, tools and resources to enhance the understanding of and help improve adolescent mental health.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS

 

Kate Elliot, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
[email protected]
(902) 440-7844

 

Mallory Comeau, Communications Coordinator
Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health
[email protected]
(902) 470-8380