Why 6th graders?
Adolescence is a critical period which lays the foundation for health and well-being across the life course. Adolescent youth undergo physical, psychological, and social growth which shape their capabilities and skills necessary to sustain a functional and fulfilling adult life. Adolescents face a variety of challenges, including increased independence, peer pressure, exposure to social media, risky behaviour, and risk for the onset of mental health problems with half of all cases emerging prior to age 14. Our program aims to equip students with skills which are necessary to face these challenges, enhance their resilience, and maximize their mental health and well-being across the lifespan.
Why in schools?
School based programs focused on mental health literacy and social and emotional learning delivered across elementary, middle, and high schools have proven results in promoting the mental health of students through reducing risk factors and emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents.
Programs addressing mental health and well-being are not only beneficial to students, but teachers can also greatly benefit by undergoing training too. Teachers with high levels of social competence could better able to protect themselves from burnout by:
- developing and managing nurturing relationships with their students
- managing behavior in their classrooms
- serving as behavioral role models for children
- regulating their own emotions