Why Teach Mental Health?

National surveys report that about 70% of Canadian teachers identify a need for more knowledge about mental health/mental illness. A national scoping exercise found that a comprehensive mental health literacy curriculum resource is not available in most Canadian Faculties of Education. This online mental health literacy for pre-service teacher education resource has been developed to address that gap.

Welcome to the Teach Mental Health course for educators. This course is designed for teacher candidates currently in Faculties of Education and, for educators currently working in schools, including classroom teachers, administrators and other specialized roles (Resource, Learning Support Teachers, etc.) This course is for you.

Developed by education and mental health professionals, this seven module (8 to 10 hours) course will give you a foundation of mental health literacy, including effective strategies to use in your educational settings and, in your own life.

We sincerely hope that this course will deepen your interest in, and encourage your critical thinking about, mental health. 

Enjoy the learning! 
— Dr. Stan Kutcher, Dr. Yifeng Wei, Dr. Wendy Carr, Dr. Susan Rodger, Dr. Chris Gilham

What is the purpose of this educational resource?

This resource aims to:

  • Enhance mental health literacy of teacher candidates in Canadian Faculties of Education;
  • Provide classroom congruent materials that can be used both during practicum and after graduation to help address mental health literacy of students.

This resource does NOT educate how to diagnose or treat mental illnesses. If you are concerned about a student’s mental health, talk to the leadership team in your school and consult with health professionals in your school or at the school district level and provide information they need to better support that student. As part of the school-based team of professionals, determine what your role will be to better support your student.

Who created this resource?

We are a team of educators, researchers and mental health care professionals who have worked together collaboratively over the past five years to develop, evaluate and produce this resource. We did so based on our research that identified a need to enhance the mental health literacy of educators.

Our team consists of Dr. Stan Kutcher (TeenMentalHealth.Org), Dr. Yifeng Wei (TeenMentalHealth.Org), Dr. Wendy Carr (Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia), Dr. Susan Rodger (Faculty of Education, Western University), and Dr. Chris Gilham (Faculty of Education, St. Francis Xavier University). 

Funding for this work was provided by a private foundation in Western Canada that wishes to remain anonymous. No funds were received from either the pharmacology or psychotherapy industries. Over thirty institutions and national organizations assisted in the role of Participant Observers, reviewing the materials and making suggestions about how to improve them. Field-testing of the materials was conducted in a number of Faculties of Education, and the information obtained was used to improve the materials in the resource. We hope that all educators, including faculty members who teach educators, find this course helpful.

Click here to register for the course through ubc.