Adolescence and pre-adolescence are crucial moments for the promotion of mental health and the prevention of mental disorders, taking into account that up 50% of common mental disorders have their onset in adolescence, around 14 years of age.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that, worldwide, up to 20% of children and adolescents suffer from a problem of emotional development or behaviour and one out of eight suffer from a mental disorder. In the last years, many studies have been undertaken to identify effective interventions for the prevention of psychological problems and the promotion of mental health among young people. Evidence show that the most effective programs are those carried out within curricular school activities. The promotion of mental health targeting adolescents should pursue the development of social, cognitive and emotional skills together with the definition of personal goals and achievement of self-discipline. The development of the so called “life skills” has demonstrated to attain significant improvements particularly for social relationships, self-acceptance, self-efficacy perceived in managing negative emotions and quality of life.
The project aims to provide secondary school students the appropriate skills to monitor and manage their level of mental wellbeing, through the development of a pedagogical tool that will use as a basis the good practices and expertise in the field of mental wellbeing exchanged among the partnership. Partners will share knowledge concerning mental well being management in school as well as strategies to involve in the best way all the actors that play an important role in the mental wellbeing of students, i.e. teachers and family members.
Project objectives are:
1) to exchange good practices for mental wellbeing management in the school context, in order to collect methodologies aimed at the students’ wellbeing with the direct support of the actors involved in the wellbeing and learning process of students i.e. teachers and parents;
2) to provide students with tools to manage mental wellbeing, improve communication skills, increase self awareness and problem solving abilities;
3) to produce high quality resources for professionals and improve their competencies to deal with diversified groups of students, making use of new technologies and learner-centred pedagogical approaches.
With the active participation of students, the pedagogical resources collected among the partnership will be adapted and transferred to multimedia tools (website, videos, apps), available in 5 European languages, in order to have an innovative and more attractive approach with the target group and cater their needs and expectations.
The analysis carried out in the first phase of the project will help to identify the key needs of students while the exchange of good practices will facilitate a more efficient strategy to address target groups’ wellbeing needs. These results will provide a ground on which build the educational resources and adapt the programme.
The training activities targeting teachers will help the first target group to better understand well-being needs of students, the best approaches to operate within school settings and guarantee the wellbeing of their learners, the use of ICTs in educational contexts. Teachers will deliver focus groups with students in order to identify the most appropriate communication methods for their age group and to develop multimedia material.
The pilot course together with the multimedia resources based on the manual will increase students’ psychological well-being and quality of life, thus fostering a healthy environment for teaching and learning.