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The Critical Importance of Youth Mental Health Promotion Programs in Schools

Mental health problems in childhood and adolescence were key health issues before the pandemic began, and undoubtedly, these issues are now more critical than ever. Mental health problems can be burdensome for individuals and their families, and for those who are uninformed or unaware, the onset and lengthy road often needed to properly deal with mental health problems may lead to unnecessary stigmatization, isolation and withdrawal. It does not have to be this way, especially if key information is disseminated and discussed in an open and pre-emptive manner.

What is Mental Health Promotion?

Mental Health Promotion is about creating an environment that promotes and sustains positive mental health for everyone. Schools are an ideal setting in which to promote mental health for children and youth, providing an opportunity to reach large groups of children during their formative years of cognitive, emotional and behavioural development.

Research shows that school-based Mental Health Promotion programs:

  • Increase mental well being

  • Enhance the regulation of emotions

  • Enhance coping and problem-solving skills

  • Increase engagement, achievement and attendance

  • Enhance empathy and respect for diversity

  • Decrease bullying and aggression

What Can We Do?

Projet Communautaire de Pierrefonds (PCP) led the way with last year's mental health "Headstrong" summit, where students from several schools and other community organizations from the West Island came together for a day of information sharing and frank discussion about mental health. PCP has also developed specific school programs involving youth mental health promotion activities which are part of a larger strategic approach. We believe this approach is needed in all schools, and PCP intends to ensure that its Mental Health Promotion programs reach as many kids as possible.

For more information about the benefits of PCP's Mental Health Promotion programs, or if you are interested in partnering with PCP's Mental Health Promotion programs at your school or community organization, please contact Steven Valin.

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