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Mental health literacy programs expand to equip more educators in the classroom

The pandemic’s impact on children’s mental health has been a big concern for families and experts alike since the world first shifted. School closures, separation from friends, cancellation of recreational activities, new safety protocols and concerns about the virus itself have significantly disrupted their daily lives.

Understandably, teachers have been looking for extra resources to help them support students during these times in both their physical and online classrooms.

Your support is enabling a team of mental health literacy experts to create new tools and expand programs that will help educators, students and parents understand, identify and properly address concerns as early as possible.

For example, the team has created a series of age-appropriate animated videos on key mental health literacy concepts that have been distributed to school districts across the province and posted on YouTube. The primary and secondary school versions have been viewed more than 42,000 times and school districts in British Columbia are now also using them in their classrooms.

At the same time, online training and other resources on their websiteteenmentalhealth.orgare being accessed 22,000 times per week. Given the demand, the team has also begun working with indigenous communities from across Canada to develop a much-needed website and content for an indigenous mental health literacy resource to better support first nations youth as well. They will reflect indigenous cultures and perspectives with accessibility from anywhere in the country.

Build Them Up is also funding the creation of classroom-ready resources specifically designed to help elementary school teachers support younger children.

A developmentally appropriate mental health curriculum will enable teachers to introduce discussions about mental health into grades 4, 5 and 6 classrooms.

Elementary teachers believe this could greatly benefit their students and families and work towards early intervention/prevention. Once fully developed, the team intends to share the curriculum at no cost to all interested parties to benefit elementary school students and teachers across the country and around the world.

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