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Overview and Resources for Mental Health Promotion in Elementary and Middle School

Overview and Resources for Mental Health Promotion in Elementary and Middle School

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Overview and Resources for Mental Health Promotion in Elementary and Middle School

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  1. Overview and Resources forMental Health Promotion in Elementary and Middle School Jessica Weiler, MOT, OTR/L University of Illinois at Chicago

  2. There is a mental health crisis in the United States. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999).

  3. 1 in 5 children will meet the criteria for a mental health disorder across their lifetime. (Merikangas et al., 2010)

  4. Half of all lifetime cases begin before age 14. (Kessler, Chui, Demler, Merikangas, & Walters, 2005)

  5. Children are not getting the mental health treatment, services, and supports they need in order to be successful in school and in life. (Koppelman, 2004; Merikangas et al., 2010)

  6. Occupational therapists must be ready to address the mental health needs of elementary and middle school students.

  7. Mental health promotion interventions focus on competence enhancement, stigma reduction, and social-emotional development for the whole population (Barry & Jenkins, 2007)

  8. School Mental Health Resources Center for School Mental Health • CSMH provides resources and information related to school mental health • free online professional development trainings at that includes Center for Mental Health in Schools & Student/ Learning Supports at UCLA • The Center has several free resources that include: • Practitioner Toolbox • System Change Toolkit

  9. Five competencies that students need for school success:

  10. Child Mental Health Resources The Child Mind Institute • The Child Mind Institute is an independent, national nonprofit dedicated to transforming the lives of children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders. • The 2016 child mind institute children’s mental health report is about school-based challenges and solutions. The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning • CASEL has created two guides that would be helpful to occupational therapists who want to learn more about social and emotional learning programs: • Preschool and Elementary School Edition • Middle and High School Edition

  11. Occupational therapy practitioners must define out role on a school mental health team The role of occupational therapy practitioners is, • “one of a change agent, educational enhancer, and mental health promoter – • to assist teachers, other school support staff, administrators, and families in promoting successful participation and enjoyment during • academic (classroom, art, PE) and non-academic (recess, lunch, after-school) times of the day • for children and youth with and without disabilities and mental health challenges.” (Every Moment Counts, 2017).

  12. Occupational therapists understand the context of the psychosocial aspect(intrapersonal, interpersonal, and influencing social experiences and interactions) of human performance (behavior and development) as foundational to occupation and occupational therapy (AOTA, 2010).

  13. Value of Occupational Therapy Resources American Occupational Therapy Association • Membership access to • Specialized knowledge and skills in mental health promotion, prevention, and interventions • OT’s distinct value: Mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention • School Mental Health Kit Every Moment Counts • EMC purpose is to share practical resources that can be used to promote positive mental health and well-being in all children and youth throughout the day • model programs (developed by OTs) and toolkits related to creating a comfortable cafeteria environment, recess promotion, embedded strategies and programs, and after school activities. • This information is highly relevant to the school environment as well as geared towards occupational therapists specifically.

  14. Stigma is the negative view of a person just because they have a mental health condition Stigma is a major barrier to accessing mental health services. (Gilliver et al., 2003)

  15. Mental Health Literacy Reduces Stigma Mental health literacy is: • The ability to recognize a mental disorder • Knowledge about risk factors or causes of the disorder • Knowledge and beliefs about support sources • Attitudes about getting help • Knowledge of how to seek mental health information (Jorm, 2000)

  16. Mental Health Literacy Resources Youth Mental Health First Aid • Youth Mental Health First Aid is a training to gain more knowledge and skills in helping who are experiencing a crisis. • Includes mental health risk factors and warning signs, an action plan to aid someone in crisis, and referral sources. • Find a free training near you. National Alliance on Mental Illness • NAMI offers several programs and support groups related to education, skills training and support. • NAMI will also come and present to your organization or school: • NAMI Ending The Silence – Designed for middle and high school students about the importance of recognizing early warning signs • NAMI Parent & Teachers As Allies – Designed for teachers and school staff to increase awareness about mental illness and recognition of early warning signs

  17. To promote mental health occupational therapists must support engagement in meaningful educational occupations and routines that build on the psychological and social strengths of elementary and middle school students.

  18. References • American Occupational Therapy Association. (2010b). Occupational therapy services in the promotion of psychological and social aspects of mental health. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64, S78-S91. doi:10.5014/ajot.2010.64S78 • Barry, M. M. & Jenkins, R. (2007). Implementing mental health promotion. New York, NY: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier • Bazyk, S. (2011). Occupational therapy process: a public health approach to promoting mental health in children and youth. In S. Bazyk (Ed) Mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention with children and youth (pp. 21-43). Bethesda, MD: AOTA • Bazyk, S. & Cahill, S. (2015). School-based occupational therapy. In J. Case-Smith & J.C. O’Brien (Eds.), Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents, pp.664-703. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

  19. References • Every Moment Counts. (2017). Occupational therapy. Retrieved from • Gulliver, A., Griffiths, K. M., & Christensen, H. (2003). Perceived barriers and facilitators to mental health help-seeking in young people: A systematic review. BMC Psychiatry, 10, 113–122. • Jorm, A. F. (2000). Mental health literacy: Public knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders. British Journal of Psychiatry, 177, 396–401. • Kessler, R.C., Berglund, P., Demler, O., Jin, R., Merikangas, K., & Walters, E.E. (2005). Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. Archives of General Psychiatry, 62, 593-602. • Koppelman, J. (2004). Children with mental disorders: Making sense of their needs and systems that help them (NHPF Issue Brief No. 799). Washington, DC: George Washington University, National Health Policy Forum.

  20. References • Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. J., & Lynn, N. (2006). School-based mental health: An empirical guide for decision-makers. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, The Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, Department of Child & Family Studies., Research and Training Center for Children’s Mental Health. • Merikangas, K.R., He, J., Burstein, M., Swanson, S.A., Avenevoli, S., Cui, L., Benjet, C., Georgiades, K., & Swendsen, J. (2010). Lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in US adolescents: Results from the National Comorbidity Study-Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A). Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 49, 980-989. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.05.017 • U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (1999). Mental health: A report of the surgeon general. Rockville, MD:U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services, & National Institute of Mental Health.