Initial evaluation of a mental health literacy intervention : mental health care in schools
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT REQUEST OF AUTHOR.] Teacher mental health literacy (MHL) includes their attitudes, knowledge, and help-seeking abilities to support youth mental health. Students' access to support in schools depends on their teacher, but concerningly pre- and in-service training lacks MHL. Therefore, this study used a randomized control trial to evaluate a novel MHL training with elementary teachers. Mental Health CARE in Schools is an in-service training for classroom teachers. Training targets how to create mentally healthy classrooms, actively observe and report risk, and embed supports for students experiencing problems. Primary participants included (n = 82) classroom teachers and their students (n = 1, 497). The training resulted in large-sized effects on teachers' selfreported MHL for the trained participants when compared to those in the waitlist condition and from their pre-test scores. Additionally, the current study explored the correspondence between teacher self-reported MHL and their Social, Academic, and Emotional Behavior Risk Screening (SAEBRS) results for their classroom of students. Multilevel modeling identified that in addition to teacher rater differences, additional variance in student scores could be accounted for by teachers' MHL. Teachers' level of self-reported MHL had a positive relationship with their students' SAEBRS scores and an inverse relationship with SAEBRS base rates of risk. Initial evidence from this empirical investigation extends the theory of teacher MHL, yielding implications for both educators and researchers. Limitations and future directions are discussed.
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