Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Arts




Dr. Susan Rodger


Statistics show that 20% of students in Canada struggle with mental health concerns. It has been suggested that student success is best supported through a collaborative circle of care of the significant adults in a child’s life, in particular parents and teachers. This paper explores parents’ experiences collaborating with teachers to support their child’s/student’s mental health challenges. Literature suggests within the context of a trusting relationship, interprofessional collaboration results in greater problem solving. This exploration of parents’ experience of collaborative partnering with teachers involved semi-structured interviews with eight parents who had at least one child struggling with mental health issues enrolled in the Ontario school system about their experiences. A thematic analysis was conducted on participant responses and three broad themes were identified: Family Experience, Relationships, and Hope for the Future. The theme of Experience includes sub themes: family system, school system, and privilege. Subthemes of Parent-Teacher Relationships are: communication, competency, and trust. Hope for the Future includes subthemes vision and action plan. All results point to the fact that improving parent-teacher collaboration will make an important difference for all stakeholders including parents, teachers, and children. Implications of these findings are discussed. These results add to the body of research in support of improving additional training for teachers in the area of child mental health and parent-teacher collaboration.