08 SES 02, Teachers and Mental Health Promotion in Schools
Childhood and adolescence are time of rapid growth and development, where the foundations for mental health are created at child’s immediate environments, like home and school. School is a unique resource in providing support and resources, and in preventing mental health problems (Weare & Nind 2011). There is a substantial literature that promotes early identification and early treatment of mental disorders (Falissard 2016). According to Kieling and colleagues (2011), early intervention and prevention are important means in avoiding later adult mental health problems and improving personal wellbeing and productivity. Even no increase can be found in Finland in children’s mental health problems over a 24-year period, service use has increased constantly, indicating that contact to service providers is occurring more often than previously (Sourander et al. 2016). Today’s communities where children grow differ substantially from the environments of previous generations, demanding adults new ways to act with children. At school, the teacher aims to create an environment that promotes learning. It includes, however, numerous situations that demand them to solve social problems during the conflicts, to negotiate with pupils, or to supervise them in many daily occasions. Teacher’s job is far more than merely curriculum-based teaching, as the Finnish document “Ethical principles for the teaching profession” describe: “Teachers can play a significant role in both the generation of positive learning experiences and the reinforcement of learners' self-esteem. Thus a teacher's work is a matter of providing opportunities for upbringing, instruction and learning for the ultimate benefit of individual learners.” (Trade union of education in Finland, 2016).
This study aims to investigate what kind of social, emotional, or behavioral symptoms of pupils the teachers rate as the most prevalent, and what are the actions in case the symptoms seem to be more severe. In addition, the stage of collaboration in children’s mental health issues is examined.
The research questions are:
- What disruptive symptoms / behaviors do teachers describe as the most usual among pupils aged 7-15?
- Who are the most sought contact persons for teachers in case of worrying situation with a pupil?
- How do teachers view the collaboration related to children’s mental health issues inside and between the educational sector and other sectors in municipalities?
The broader context for this research is a project “eHealth Services for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (eCAP), 2015-2018”, which aims at improving child psychiatric services in peripheral areas by developing eHealth tools for facilitating better cooperation between professionals working with children having mental health problems. In addition to Finland, project partners include Sweden, Norway and UK (Scotland).
Falissard B. 2016. Early detection of child and adolescent mental disorders: some elements of a necessary debate. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 25: 1041-1043. Kieling et al. 2011. Child and adolescent mental health worldwide: evidence for action. Lancet 378: 1515-1525. Sourander et al. 2016. Changes in mental health, bullying behavior, and service use among eight-year-old children over 24 years. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 55(8): 717-725. Trade union of education in Finland. 2016. Ethical Principles for the Teaching Profession. Available at: www.oaj.fi Weare K & Nind M. 2011. Mental health promotion and problem prevention in schools: what does the evidence say? Health Promotion International 26(S1): i29-i69.
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
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