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UBC’s associate dean of teacher education, Wendy Carr, has made it her mission to help educators play an important role in addressing a national mental-health crisis.
“We know that a good portion of these mental disorders are detectable in the adolescent years,” Carr told the Straight by phone. “Teachers at that level, in particular, can play a role if their mental-health literacy is developed.”
To that end, the UBC faculty of education has jointly prepared a learning resource for teacher candidates with experts at St. Francis Xavier University, the University of Western Ontario, and Dalhousie University.
Carr said the resource covers four broad areas: understanding mental health, understanding mental disorders, reducing stigma, and learning where and how teachers can seek help for themselves and others. This English-language curriculum is free and is available online for pre-service teachers across Canada.
“We’re just putting the finishing touches on the online platform,” she said. “They can do it as part of a program in some universities. They can also do it as a self-guided set of teaching and learning resources. This helps them develop their mental-health literacy even if they don’t have it as part of their teacher-education program.”
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