A Well Place to Be: The Intersection of Canadian School-Based Mental Health Policy with Student and Teacher Resiliency
This policy analysis identifies and critiques dominant narratives in the school-based mental health (SBMH) movement in Canada, with an eye to the ideas and resources being mobilized. The policy narratives were identified as SBMH problems and solutions, represented by the websites and links to other resources of the ministries and departments of education in Canada. There are three areas under-represented in the policy narratives that deserve more nuanced attention in SBMH initiatives; these are (a) to work with educators to develop communities of practice on school mental health around the notion of resiliency, (b) to consider the structural and material factors that affect people’s ability to be resilient at school, and (c) to extend the current focus on promoting student wellness to include teacher wellness. We ground these recommendations by contrasting the policy narratives with the story of our work with educators on a website about resiliency through the lenses of positive psychological health and a sociomaterial perspective on resources. We suggest that a sociomaterial approach to SBMH initiatives, using conceptual tools from implementation science and workplace psychological health, may help both students and teachers develop resiliency.
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