08 SES 03, Professional Development in Health Education
The school today, beyond the transmission of knowledge, must also educate in values, promote health, education and civic participation of students. Included in what is known as Health Promoting Schools may also intervene in mental health. Being suicide a major cause of death in Portugal, promoting mental health is revealed as a key element in its prevention. According to Saraiva (2010), data from Suicide Prevention Service (Coimbra’s University Hospital) reveals high values of suicidal ideation as much as the increase of parasuicide in teenagers.
Towards the reduced research about this theme in Portugal, on the training and supervision of teachers, this study is contributes to suicide prevention in learning communities and in Health Promoting Schools.
It’s being recognized that health issues must be addressed in advance, on a prophylactic way, since financial resources are few and prevention means health gains with more means and economy. So, values as moderation in behaviors and life styles promoting well-being are being defended as a way to prevent diseases.
The National Program of School Health (2004-2010) states that the scholar insuccess, related or not to minor mental health problems, increases the risk of antisocial conducts, delinquency, substance abuse, teen’s pregnancy, etc. Instead, the involvement of School in a pedagogic practice and in the social and emotional development of its members increases assiduity, productivity and the adequate access to health services. School, besides being an excellent environment for health promotion, has a decisive role on children and youngsters behaviors, in its academic and emotional development, not forgetting that it is a School obligation to take care for their physical and mental health.
Schools must be distinguished for innovation, a culture of individual and organizational culture, implementing and promoting health, creating mechanisms to evaluate the process and including Health education in its curriculum, with academic activities.
It’s essential that teachers, with health projects aiming suicide prevention, can be able to detect as soon as possible the risk factors, knowing that not everything is a mental perturbation. It’s important to refer that a serious depression and the risk of suicide can only be diagnosed acknowledging an ample number of factors and not always with a mere observation. This way, it’s necessary that the triad School – Health Centers – Health School Programs, as health promoting agents, promote school/family/community dynamics, contributing for a better quality of life.
This study is intended to show how the supervision of teacher training in the area of health education, particularly in suicide prevention, can help minimize this problem by preparing and arming the educational community with the tools and knowledge appropriate the circumstances.
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