Developing Students’ and Educators’ Mental Health Literacy Makes a Difference!

Seven out of ten teachers report that they lack the knowledge and tools to sufficiently understand or appropriately address student’s mental health concerns (Cdn Teachers Federation, 2012). Since most mental disorders occurring over the lifespan can be identified by age 25, it is necessary to enhance mental health literacy in youth to help improve their potential for good mental health outcomes. Educators play a key role.

Launching October 31, a massive open online course (MOOC) will be available to anyone interested in developing mental health literacy, defined as a) understanding about how to obtain and maintain good mental health, b) understanding mental disorders and their treatments, c) decreasing stigma, and d) increasing help-seeking efficacy. Equipped with a complete set of resources, classroom activities, personal exercises and other evidence-based interventions, educators can develop a better understanding about all aspects of mental health literacy for application not only to the classroom but to aspects of their own circumstances.

The resources are not prescriptive but, rather, designed to be integrated across other curricula, delivered by classroom teachers as they deem most appropriate.

MOOC may be started any time after October 31.

Launching next year is TeachMentalHealth, a set of comprehensive, modularized, online curriculum resources for pre-service teachers to develop their mental health literacy and better prepare them for their teaching careers. Developed by, (Dr. Stan Kutcher); University of British Columbia, Western University & St. Francis Xavier University, the resources will be available FREE for all Canadian faculties of teacher education.