UBC faculty of education puts premium on mental health literacy for future teachers

Posted on November 30th, 2017

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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