Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Education

Program

Education

Supervisor

Dr. Susan Rodger

Abstract

The current youth mental health care system is ineffective at meeting the needs of Canadian youth. More than ever, teachers are placed on the frontlines of mental health care provision, including identification and intervention delivery. The present study explored teachers’ mental health literacy and capacity in the context of providing help to their students. Secondary data from a large-scale survey of teachers in one Ontario school board was analyzed to assess teachers’ current levels of knowledge, awareness and comfort levels in student mental health care. Teachers were compared based on teaching experience, school division, and school location, in terms of what actions they currently take when students present with mental health problems, and their perceptions of mental health supports. Last, a thematic analysis of teachers’ written comments about improving student mental health was performed. In general, teachers requested more professional development and increased contact with mental health experts.