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Mental Health Promotion for Today's Elementary Schools

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Maureen Jenkins

on 12 January 2014

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Transcript of Mental Health Promotion for Today's Elementary Schools

Positive Mental Health Promotion for Today's Schools
increase mental well-being
Whole school approach consists of 4 interconnected pillars
In Summary
How do we promote PHM?
PMH can be promoted in almost every action and interaction that we do.
Together is Better
Positive Mental Health
is for everyone
PMH is our personal sense of mental wellness. When it is supported it leads to positive life changes (JCSH, 2012).
Better practices for mental health
What is Positive Mental Health?
Pillar 1: Social and Physical Environment
By Maureen Jenkins
Pillar 4: Healthy School Policy
Pillar 2: Teaching and Learning
A model for comprehensive school health
Review: So How Can Schools Integrate PHM?
Next Steps
PMH affects how we act, think and feel. We feel like we can enjoy life and sustain the challenges life presents (JSCH, 2012).
PHM is an important aspect of overall health and is shaped by individual, social, environmental, socio-economic, physical and cultural characteristics (CIHI, 2009).
Supporting individual resilience, creating supportive environments and addressing the determinants of mental health are key to promoting PMH (CIHI, 2009).
Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). (2008). Reducing Gaps in Health: A Focus on Socio-Economic Status in Urban Canada. Retrieved from https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/Reducing_Gaps_in_Health_Report_EN_081009.pdf.

Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). (2009). Improving the Health of Canadians 2009: Exploring Positive Mental Health. Retrieved from http://www.cpa.ca/cpasite/userfiles/Documents/Practice_Page/positive_mh_en.pdf.

Healthy Child Manitoba (HCM). (n.d.). Mental Health Promotion in Schools. Retrieved from http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12//specedu/smh/mh_resource.pdf.

Joint Consortium for School Health (JCSH). (2011). Schools as a setting for promoting positive mental health: Better practices and perspectives. Retrieved from http://www.jcsh-cces.ca/upload/PMH%20July10%202011%20WebReady.pdf.

Joint Consortium for School Health (PCJCSH). (2012). Positive Mental Health Toolkit. Retrieved from http://www.jcshpositivementalhealthtoolkit.com.

Joubert, N. (2009). Complementary article to the Canadian Institute for Health Information’s Report: Improving the Health of Canadians 2009: Exploring Positive Mental Health. Retrieved from https://secure.cihi.ca/free_products/Complementary_Joubert_Final_Eng_20Feb2009.pdf.Pan-Canadian.

Reist, D. (2013). Comprehensive school health: A frog in the pond. Retrieved from http://www.carbc.ca/Portals/0/PropertyAgent/558/Files/294/BriefCSH.pdf.

Stewart-Brown, S. (2006). What is the evidence on school health promotion in improving health or preventing disease and, specifically, what is the effectiveness of the health promoting schools approach? Retrieved from http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0007/74653/E88185.pdf.

YouThrive.ca. (n.d.). Determinants of mental health. Retrieved from http://www.youthrive.ca/make-links/determinants-mental-health.
This comes from the relationships that we have with ourselves and others including those within our home, school and community.
Creating and sustaining positive relationships make us feel good about the things we do and connected to each other.
These relationships give us the chance to share our thoughts and ideas making us feel valued, mentally well and more likely to make our own decisions and choices.
Key Aspects and Concepts of PMH
psychological wellness
positive social and emotional development
person-centered strength
inward readiness for learning and growth
enhanced self-efficacy
heightened awareness of strengths and capacities
presence of internal and external protective factors
personal resiliency
self-determination or actualization
(JSCH, 2012)
Schools are a Critical Setting
enhance regulation of emotions
enhance coping and problem solving skills
increase engagement, achievement and attendance
enhance empathy and respect for diversity
decrease bullying, aggression and the occurrence of high-risk behaviours
Stewart, Sun, Patterson, Lemerle and Hardie (in JSCK, 2011) state that schools are critical in shaping children’s self-esteem, self-efficacy and sense of control during their formative years.
Children spend upwards of six hours a day, 180 days of the year in these contexts thus schools are a prime location for delivering the concepts of PMH (JSCH, 2011).
As children grow and develop into their teens, school becomes an even more powerful influence on their mental health due to their growing dependance on teacher support and peer networks (JSCH, 2011).
Schools and Positive Mental Health
Core Psychological Needs of PHM
Deci and Ryan (in JCSH, 2012) assert that each of us has specific needs that are fulfilled in our interactions with one another.
Promotion of school connectedness in forming relationships, social and recreational activities, civic service and creating a community that values identity, culture, ethnicity and faith in an accepting and celebratory manner ensures that the students feel they belong as well as respecting and valuing others.
Creating and promoting school programs that address stigma, discrimination and violence helps educate and create acceptance among the students that can last a lifetime (JCSH, 2011).
Creating a program that allows for individuals to participate in activities and events no matter what their economic status is allows opportunities for life enrichment and social inclusion (YouThrive, n.d.).
Traditional mental health programs in schools and community settings have focused on mental health problems or challenges that are being experienced by or emerging for children and youth in a problem-focused approach (JCSH, 2011).
Better practice is to shift from this focus to one that “involves the recognition that children’s and youths’ state of psychological well-being is not only influenced by the absence of problems and risk-need concerns, but also is impacted by the existence of positive factors present within individuals and their social settings that contribute to positive growth and development” (JCSH, 2011, p. 7)
(JCSH, 2012)
(JCSH, 2012)
The Approach
If frogs in a pond started acting strangely, our first reaction would be not to punish or even treat them, but to wonder what is going on in the pond that would cause them to behave this way.
The Socio-Ecological Model takes this same approach and forces us to step back and look at the whole picture...or the school as the "ecosystem" in which the students function
This model understands that individuals are "influenced by a unique set of opportunities and constraints shaped by a complex interaction of biological, social and environmental factors" throughout their lives.
Putting the approach into schools
Comprehensive school health utilizes this ecological approach to address protective factors that help build resilience in children and youth.
Programs are devised that do not focus on "fixing" students but aim to change the school environment and actively engage students in the learning process
Comprehensive school health has components that address both individual competence and changing the culture of the school to encourage greater school attachment and involvement
For example, rather than relying on a drug education program to teaches students how to make healthy choices, a comprehensive approach encourages the whole school - staff, structures, policies, and procedures to function in a healthy way thereby promoting and modeling healthy behaviour.
(CARBC, 2013)
(CARBC, 2013)
(CARBC, 2013)
Taking action in all four CSH pillars, rather than in just one, is working in a holistic or comprehensive way.

This increases the impact of healthy school initiatives.

As a result, students are better supported to realize their full potential as learners and as healthy, productive members of their community.
Allowing and encouraging participate in their own decision-making.
Fostering an atmosphere of trust, tolerance, co-operation and empathy.
Have a welcoming, student-centered environment (e.g. sofas, decorative plants, student artwork, quotes and photos on display).
Showcasing student achievement and unity.
Designing physical spaces so that students can access facilities, maneuver within them, and participate fully in planned learning activities.
(JCSH, 2012)
• Provide students with an enhanced understanding and appreciation of diversity.
• Incorporate culturally-relevant themes into instructional practices and activities.
• Offer students the chance to learn and practice social skills.
• Accommodate individual learning needs and preferences.
• Support autonomy by minimizing control, listening to and validating student perspectives.
(JCSH, 2012)
(JCSH, 2012)
• Interact with the home regarding student learning issues.
• Collaborate with families in the design of school improvement and learning initiatives.
• Adopt policy to ensure collaboration with community and government organizations.
• Offer opportunities for participation in school-community action groups or committees.
We want to build resilient kids!
Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” after hardships, disappointments and stress.

Supporting and enhancing resilience is a core component of fostering positive mental health.

Helping children learn how to manage the inevitable ups and downs of life and how to build their coping skills will enhance their mental well being into adulthood.

Resilient children have good feelings about themselves, trust others and generally feel optimistic about the future.

School based programs with a focus on the enhancement of social skills, emotional literacy and problem solving all contribute to the development of resilience.
(Healthy Child Manitoba, 2012)
The Vocabulary
1. Create a PMH team - administrators, staff, parents, community members, support staff
2. Engage students as leaders
3. Identify priorities using the Indicator Framework
4. Create and implement your plan
5. Evaluate outcomes and celebrate successes
6. Repeat the process finding ways to improve
Access the
Pan-Canadian Joint Consortium for School Health: Positive Mental Health Toolkit
These needs include relatedness, competency and autonomy. When these needs are met within individuals, people experience greater motivation and self determination in pursuing positive change.
When these needs are met within relationships in the environment, places such as schools and communities become settings in which psychological wellness is fostered.
Start Today!
(JCSH, 2012)
• Provide alternatives to zero-tolerance policies that allow for continued school connectedness and restoration.
• Ensure that all students and staff members are held accountable for upholding and modeling rules pertaining to respectful behaviour.
• Have policies that contribute to the physical and emotional safety of all students.
• Accommodate the learning and social needs of all students, including those with exceptionalities.
• Offer ongoing professional development related to positive mental health.
• Establish a Healthy Schools Committee to look at creating healthy school policy, including priority health topics such as positive mental health.
Pillar 3: Partnerships and Services
Research shows that School Based Mental Health Programs:
(JCSH, 2012)
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