Take a moment and think about your view of mental health...many folks view mental health as simply the absence of mental illness. But this view can be limiting and tends to draw our focus to reactive strategies not proactive strategies. Our view and one that is supported by research1 is that mental health is not the "absence" of something, but rather it is some- thing! Simply defined mental health is: feeling good and doing well!
But how do we, occupational therapists and school personnel help all students to feel good and do well at school? After all, let's be honest, none of us have any extra moments in our school day to add a lot of extra activities.
So here's the idea – embed strategies into your school day with students. Build classrooms and school environments which are positive and supportive, teach children ways to communicate their feelings and manage them appropriately at their own developmental level, and provide activities that kids enjoy!
Check out the video clips on embedded strategies! Then, explore the materials located in all of the tabs to the left to guide you and the team you work with in mental health promotion, prevention and intervention.
Embedded Strategies materials for Tiers 1, 2, an 3 developed by Lezlie Fahl Kinder, OTR/L (2014)
1 Keyes, C. L. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing: A complementary strategy for improving national mental health. American Psychologist, 62, 95-108.