Development of a Teaching Programme for the Junior Cycle Mental health and Mental Ill-Health Module

Great progress has been made nationally on destigmatising mental health but it has not yet become a topic that people are universally comfortable with. A major change in the Junior Cycle in 2018 is the introduction of Wellbeing which directly addresses youth mental health through Strand 4 in the new Social Personal and Health Education (SPHE) course. This challenges students and teachers to participate in informed discussions about mental health, understand the significance of mental ill-health, critique services and explore the link between substance abuse and mental health. These are new and challenging topics for many people and there is an important opportunity for clinical academics in the field of mental health to share their expertise in this area so that this topic can be taught as effectively as possible to young people. In this KEDS award we will create a series of lessons and resources to target 4 specific learning outcomes of the SPHE strand on mental health (4.4 - 4.7; see p84, A combination of short videos, illustrated activities and background notes will be created to support lesson plans that teachers can access through a dedicated website. All material will be trialled in the classroom during the project to ensure that it fully addresses the issues that will arise for students and teachers when covering this part of the Wellbeing course. There is evidence that these types of intervention improve youth mental health (Wasserman et al, Lancet, 2015).

Award Date
27 September 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor David Cotter
Host Institution
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme