New online tool will equip Canadian teachers to better support students’ mental health

Posted on August 31st, 2018

Four Canadian universities, including the University of British Columbia, launched a new online curriculum resource earlier this month called Teach Mental Health.

The site aims to expand mental health literacy among those studying to be teachers, and among those they teach. The resource is available to anyone who wants to learn more about youth mental health.

Wendy Carr of UBC’s faculty of education worked with colleagues from Dalhousie University, Western University and St. Francis Xavier University on the project.

She explains how the online tool could help reduce the toll taken by mental illness:

Why did you develop this curriculum?

One of the top concerns for educators is the mental health of their students. Teachers are seeing more and more mental illness, just as we are in society — one in four adults lives with a mental illness. The onset of mental illness usually happens before the age of 25, and the adolescent years are when early intervention can make a real difference. We looked at what was available through Canadian faculties of education, and there really was nothing about mental health literacy. There’s been material for practicing teachers, but nothing for pre-service teachers. It’s really important for those going into education as a career to have this foundational literacy, so we’re filling that gap.

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