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Learn Mental Health Literacy

About This Course

This course is designed for teacher candidates currently in Faculties of Education and for educators currently working in schools including teachers, administrators and other specialized roles, e.g. Resource or Learning Support Teachers, or anyone who wishes to build their mental health literacy.

Developed by education and mental health professionals, this seven module (8 to 10 hours) course will provide you with a foundation of mental health literacy, including effective strategies to use in your educational settings and in your own life.

  • Module 1: Introduction and Background
  • Module 2: Stigma and Mental Illness
  • Module 3: Human Brain Development
  • Module 4: Understanding Mental Health, Mental Illness and Related Issues in Young People
  • Module 5: What is Treatment for a Mental Disorder and How do we Know What is Likely to Work?
  • Module 6: Seeking Help and Providing Support
  • Module 7: Caring for Students and Ourselves

Learn more about this course, including program background and learning objectives, on the Faculty of Education's Professional Development & Community Engagement website

Course Description

National surveys report that about 70% of Canadian teachers identify a need for more knowledge about mental health and mental illness, yet most Faculties of Education do not have a comprehensive mental health literacy curriculum resource.

This online, self-paced resource addresses that gap. Pre-service and current teachers can take this 7-module course in its entirety or simply the modules they are most interested in. Faculties of Education are welcome to use these resources to support their course and/or discussions on mental health in the same way.

This resource aims to:

  1. Enhance mental health literacy of teacher candidates in Canadian Faculties of Education
  2. Provide classroom congruent materials that can be used both during practicum and after graduation to help address mental health literacy of students.
  3. Identify strategies that can be used for obtaining and maintaining your own mental health

This resource does NOT educate how to diagnose or treat mental illnesses. If you are concerned about a student’s mental health, talk to the leadership team in your school and consult with health professionals in your school or at the school district level and provide information they need to better support that student. As part of the school-based team of professionals, determine what your role will be to better support your student.

The Team

A team of educators, researchers and mental health care professionals have worked together collaboratively over the past five years to develop, evaluate and produce this resource. They did so based on their research that identified a need to enhance the mental health literacy of educators.

The team consists of Dr. Stan Kutcher ( and Dalhousie University), Dr. Yifeng Wei (Department of Psychiatry, Dalhousie University), Dr. Wendy Carr (Faculty of Education, University of British Columbia), Dr. Susan Rodger (Faculty of Education, Western University) and Dr. Chris Gilham (Faculty of Education, St. Francis Xavier University). Key project participants included Vanessa Bruce (, Dr. Melanie-Anne Atkins (Western University), Amy MacKay, Mina Hashish, Kate Elliot, Mallory Comeau, Jillian Thorpe and Amanda Higgins (

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