Creating skilled educators through pre-service teacher training in mental health promotion

Elizabeth Kemp, Gavin Hazel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

Research has shown that training professionals in key areas and skills at base level (preservice) provides the best opportunity to influence and prepare a skilled workforce.
Professional teacher standards, expert opinion and research indicate that mental health promotion, mental ill-health prevention, early intervention (MHPPEI) is essential to the role of all teachers. This content should not be pigeon holed into discipline streams or units. Contrary to lay perceptions and out-dated notions of what teaching is; the capacity to promote mental health is essential to every aspect of teaching and every teacher: for example, the dynamic nature of student-teacher relationships is important to student wellbeing and academic outcomes. Students do better when they have positive connections to school and feel they are cared for and supported by a teacher/s.
Research has linked social and emotional wellbeing (SEW) to academic outcomes, health and behaviour. By promoting protective factors and reducing risk factors SEW is enhanced and prevalence and severity of mental ill-health is reduced. Therefore, promoting SEW is essential for all children and young people from birth to secondary school.
As all students can benefit from mental health promotion and at least some students will require additional support, teachers need to be ready from the first day they enter the workforce to engage in MHPPEI. Waiting to train teachers in-service is not only detrimental to preparedness to act, but also reduces the chance that all teachers will be trained in MHPPEI.
Australia is the only country lucky enough to have access to evidence based resources (Response Ability) and support targeted at building the capacity of pre-service teachers in MHPPEI.
This paper will present evidence around the importance of MHPPEI in teacher preparation including current pitfalls in teacher preparation and practical strategies for addressing these gaps in a nuanced environment with many competing demands.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAustralian Teacher Education Association Conference proceedings
Subtitle of host publicationknowledge makers and notice takers: teacher education research impacting policy and practice
Place of PublicationBrisbane
PublisherAustralian Teacher Education Association (ATEA)
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAnnual conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association 2013 - Brisbane, Australia
Duration: 30 Jun 20133 Jul 2013

Conference

ConferenceAnnual conference of the Australian Teacher Education Association 2013
CountryAustralia
CityBrisbane
Period30/06/133/07/13

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  • Cite this

    Kemp, E., & Hazel, G. (2013). Creating skilled educators through pre-service teacher training in mental health promotion. In Australian Teacher Education Association Conference proceedings: knowledge makers and notice takers: teacher education research impacting policy and practice Brisbane: Australian Teacher Education Association (ATEA).