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Improving Mental Health Literacy in High School Educators

Sebestyen, Joseph Paul (2021) Improving Mental Health Literacy in High School Educators. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Schools are faced with addressing a range of mental health issues with their student populations. As the mental health issues of students increase, so should the responses of schools to support their needs. However, schools are woefully underprepared to meet this demand effectively. Most stand-alone programs do not help support students, because they are made outside of the system. For a school to successfully support students with mental health issues, school faculty and staff members first must become mental health literate. Evidence shows that the Learn Mental Health Literacy online curriculum is effective in increasing educators’ mental health literacy. No literature was found that relates to a study of the Learn Mental Health Literacy framework being conducted in a secondary school setting in the United States. The aim of this study was to assess the benefits of using this curriculum in a secondary school setting.
The study analyzed the baseline knowledge of a high school’s faculty and staff before implementation of Learn Mental Health Literacy. A post-test survey assessed changes in knowledge and participants’ satisfaction with the online program. The participants included 18 faculty and staff from a high school in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Over the course of six months, the participants volunteered to take a pre-test survey, the self-paced online professional development, and post-test surveys. Those results were analyzed to determine if the participants improved their mental health literacy. The study established that participants who took the course improved their mental health literacy. Participants also commented that they would recommend the program to a colleague and that it was easy to use. The findings from this study may also be used as rationale for school districts to use this online training for their faculty and staff as it is online, self-paced, and free.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Sebestyen, Joseph Pauljps149@pitt.edujps149
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorKerr, Mary Margaretmmkerr@pitt.eduMMKERR0000-0002-2082-8812
Committee MemberNelson, Melissa Mmmnelson@pitt.eduMMNELSON
Committee MemberSrsic, Amyasrsic@pitt.eduASRSIC
Date: 31 August 2021
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 8 June 2021
Approval Date: 31 August 2021
Submission Date: 22 July 2021
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 70
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Education > Administrative and Policy Studies
Degree: EdD - Doctor of Education
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mental Health Education, Mental Health Literacy
Date Deposited: 31 Aug 2021 17:27
Last Modified: 31 Aug 2021 17:27


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