Malawi Educators Assessment of Student Mental Health Outcomes
- *Corresponding Author:
- Stan Kutcher
Dalhousie University and the Izaak Walton Killam (IWK) Health Centre 5850 University Avenue
PO Box 9700, Halifax, Nova
Scotia B3K 6R8, Canada
E-mail: [email protected]
Received date: August 22, 2015 Accepted date: October 14, 2015 Published date: October 18, 2015
Citation:Kutcher S, Gilberds H, Morgan C, Udedi M, Perkins K (2015) Malawi Educators’ Assessment of Student Mental Health Outcomes. Int J Sch Cog Psychol S2:009. doi: 10.4172/2469-9837.1000S2-009
Copyright: © 2015 Kutcher S, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Purpose: This paper presents teacher perceptions of life improvements achieved by students following the application of a school based curriculum mental health literacy resource in Malawi. Methods: Life improvement metrics were generated based on educators’ self-reported questionnaires obtained as part of the midterm evaluation of a larger youth Depression intervention project. These metrics include a stigma reduction variable, an improved behaviour at school variable, and a mental health related help-seeking variable. Results: Most teachers (81.3 %) reported a positive change in their students’ attitudes toward mental illness following exposure to the mental health literacy curriculum resource. Ninety-six percent of teachers reported improvement in student behaviours at school, and all teachers reported one or more mental health care related help seeking behaviours among students. Research Limitations: The sample size was relatively small and recruited from only two districts in Malawi. This is a pilot field implementation and will need to be expanded with larger numbers into a greater number of school districts in order to improve the robustness of the findings. Originality/value: To our knowledge this is the first study to examine teachers’ perspectives on student life improvement metrics related to mental health literacy in sub-Saharan Africa. This method of measuring the impact of school-based interventions on students in African schools may be a useful and culturally meaningful approach to youth mental health assessment.