New course builds mental health literacy

Taylor MacIntyre
08/29/2018

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Prior to the start of the upcoming school year, a new course is being introduced across Canada, aiming to improve mental health literacy in schools. 
The program - entitled 'Teach Mental Health' - is a free online curriculum, hosted by the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. 
Professor at U.B.C., Wendy Carr, says 'Teach Mental Health' is designed to build mental health literacy among teacher candidates.
"The four pillars of mental health literacy are developing an understanding about how to obtain and maintain good mental health, then learning about mental illness or mental disorders and their treatments, reducing the stigma, and learning how and where to seek help for oneself and others. We're trying to develop those competencies in teacher candidates, so that they can be more effective when they go out into the field as educators."
U.B.C says not only does the program allow educators to increase their own mental health literacy, but they are able to foster positive mental health initiatives in the school, help to create safe and supportive environments, and aid in mental health promotion. 
"Mental health is also a topic on people's minds, but I am glad that there is real attention now, both at the school level, societally, governmentally." Carr adds, "I think it's important for us to be focusing on this and to be doing something about it. And I think this particular approach to developing mental health literacy broadly across a wide-swath of the population is really a smart way to begin to address these problems that we're seeing everywhere." 
The course is available to all teacher candidates in faculties of education. 
For more information on 'Teach Mental Health,' visit teachmentalhealth.org.

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