Mental Health Education in Schools

As an educator, I aim to create an inviting, inclusive learning environment so my students can succeed. Some of my students can succeed in this environment; others cannot. Unfortunately, for some of my students, coming to school each day is a struggle no matter what environment I create. The mental health struggles of our students are a concern for all stakeholders in education. When our students struggle with their mental health, they often struggle in silence. They feel stigmatized. They have no one to turn to. It isn’t until poor academic performance, that someone notices and begins to ask why. Multiple factors affect mental health and they extend beyond the academic. If so many students are struggling, what can the education system do to contribute to the enhanced positive mental health in children and youth?

Currently, in Saskatchewan schools, students are not required to take a mental health course, despite stats showing that 38 per cent of surveyed children and youth in Saskatchewan reported a decline in their mental health as a result of the pandemic.With statistics so alarming, we have to ask the question, what are schools doing to promote mental health literacy and awareness?

The Government of Saskatchewan has acknowledged the urgent need to address the mental health and well-being of students since the pandemic by including Mental Health and well-being as one of the four pillars of the Provincial Education Plan Framework and with its recent funding announcement, it solidifies its further commitment. To further support Mental Health in Schools, The Mental Health Capacity Building Program is an initiative that the Government of Saskatchewan is investing in and promoting. The program is currently in a number of schools, and “focuses on prevention and mental health promotion, early identification and intervention.”

As part of this comprehensive approach to student well-being, I am so pleased that some school divisions are offering mental health courses as a proactive effort to raise awareness about mental health. I have had the privilege of teaching a Mental Health Studies course face-to-face, in previous years, however there was never an opportunity for online students to take the course. The course I am designing is a fully online Mental Health Studies 20 course available to students. My prototype can be found below.

Mental Health Studies 20




Leanne Meili

Greetings, everyone! My name is Leanne Meili (she/her), and I am currently in the Teaching, Learning and Leading Master's Program.

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