Supporting Young People with Mental Health Difficulties: Parents and Educators Working Together
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Supporting Young People with Mental Health Difficulties: Parents and Educators Working Together






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Supporting Young People with Mental Health Difficulties: Parents and Educators Working Together Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Supporting Young Peoplewith Mental Health Difficulties Parents and Educators Working Together
  • 2. Roles Parents & Youth AppreciateEducators play crucial roles in…Identification & AssessmentAdvocacy & Support
  • 3. Helping to IdentifyEducators often 1st to suggest possibility of amental disorder (e.g. ADHD) (Sax & Kautz, 2003; Today‟s ParentSurvey, 2009) Educators > source of initial identification of a problem than physicians Leading support for coping with mental health (behind physicians & family) Better link between schools & mental health services desired by families, educators and MH Prof.Accessible & trusted source of info for youthand parents
  • 4. Key Role in AssessmentProvide key insight into behaviours of childin a setting with various levels of structure(independent work to group work)Provide insight into social functioningProvide accurate comparisons todevelopmental peer group
  • 5. Educators & AssessmentReliable source of info Often know child best 2nd to parent (age related) Key role in accurately completing assessment measuresSchool Psychologists– often the only source forPsychoeducational testing forLD
  • 6. Stigma – “Us & Them” 6
  • 7. StigmaStigma is often poorly definedConstellation of 3 related concepts: Lack of knowledge (ignorance) Negative and unfavorable attitudes (prejudice) Negative behaviours that result from those attitudes (discrimination)Creates barriers to identification & access
  • 8. Activity – Part IWrite down 2 words that describe aperson who has a mental disorder/mentalillness Person with Mental Illness 1. __________________ 2. __________________ (Kutcher, 2009) 8
  • 9. Activity – Part IIWrite down 2 words that describe aperson who you know in this room Person in the Room 1. __________________ 2. __________________ (Kutcher, 2009) 9
  • 10. Challenging StigmaHow do „show‟that you‟re anally, a support?How do we„spread‟ the wordin schools thatwe are againstmental health (see Mood Disorders Canada)stigma?
  • 11. Disability vs: (dis)Ability Theory• Differing Views of Impairment and Disability• Diagnostic-medical model (bio-centric) • Disability located within the person • Equates impairment with disability (Oliver, 1986; Shakespear & Watson, 2001)• Social Model (also referred to as Human Rights model) • Impairment (e.g., lacking use of mechanism of the body) • Focuses instead on the disabling conditions that can arise through a mismatch between peoples‟ needs 11 and the unjust policies and practices of society and its
  • 12. ‘Hidden’ (dis)Ability • Mental disorders can be considered „hidden‟ disabilities – aka: non-obvious or invisible disabilities/impairment • Other than symptoms, often no telltale sign of „impairment‟ – DSM-based diagnosis used to „legitimizing‟ the difficulty • Consistent with the LD movement – Advocacy for identification & access to resources(Miller & Sammons, 1999; 12Ryan & Runswick-Cole, 2008;Warshaw, 2004; Wolf, 2001)
  • 13. Hidden Dis/ability & British Poor Law a) Deserve help („worthy deserving poor‟) • Because of failure of society/ structure of system (e.g., physical impairment & need for ramp to bypass stairs) • Clear proof as judged by „those in charge/those with power‟ b) Don‟t deserve help („undeserving poor‟) • Because of their own personal failure (e.g., parent blaming, lazy, it‟s just behaviour, we‟re being manipulated) • No „clear‟ proof of problems (thus „unfair‟ to give help, or „everyone would want it‟) 13
  • 14. Why don‟t they just tell us … Uncovering „Hidden‟ DisabilitiesSome parents/youth are… …not always aware of difficulties …not always accepting of difficulties (diagnosis ≠ acceptance)Many, if not most, parents/youth are… …indirectly & directly impacted by stigma and/or discrimination
  • 15. Barriers to DisclosingFear… …of discrimination/being discredited (stigma reinforced) Perpetuated in families & institutions (schools/hospitals) Self-stigma (believing negative messages) “I‟m dumb” …of peers finding out …of limiting future ...of loss of control / limiting future (i.e. academic record) …of self-advocacy (anxiety issues)
  • 16. Hidden Disabilities & Accommodations &
  • 17. Advocacy & Support You don‟t need a telephone booth To be a „go-to‟ educator ..a „Mrs. Jackson‟ Point of contact for youth/parents to navigate services Be an ally & a champion for change
  • 18. Tips for Identification - HearingTo hear about child‟s special needs… Key – start „chat‟ with youth/parents during a time of „less stress‟ not always possible e.g., psychosis „Hidden‟ nature of mental disorders ( + stigma) requires extra effort to create „space‟ for youth/parents to share Meet „n‟ greet-relationship is key (be a go-to-teacher) Crucial for youth entering a new school > stress They still may not share then, but may in future
  • 19. More Tips for „Hearing‟Explore / work with strengths Ask about what‟s worked in the past & who has been helpful and why They may tell you about an „Alan‟, „Stan‟, „Alexa‟Parents/youth may want educators to beinvolved in assessment/treatment process Sharing info with MH team Developing in-school supports/ accommodations
  • 20. Tips for Identification - SharingTo share about child‟s challenges… Relationship is key (get to know parents/youth) The „when‟ & „how‟ is just as important as „what‟ you have to say Strive to hear parents‟ views BEFORE sharing your viewpoint Acknowledge their expertise - share your expertise as an educator (you don‟t need to take on „psychiatrist‟ role) Email & phone with privacy & time to talk important Need for assessment is often the first message (typically facilitated by Family doctor)
  • 21. More Tips for „Sharing‟Observe & document concerns/worries e.g., change of mood, behaviour, social, work habits, hygiene – this helps parents & MH ProsMeet with youth/parents early in process toshare your concerns Share what you have tried in-class Share your plan for additional services before you implementCheck in with other teachers/school staff
  • 22. Top 10 Tips for Connecting with Parents to Launch Identification1. When meeting parents work on a relationship – Small things like use their names (not Mom & Dad) – Ask how they are doing (not all business)2. Do share about the student – start with positives (not just to say, BUT…) – Share concerns in terms of behaviour not in terms of diagnosis (e.g., ADHD)3. Serious „talks‟ demand private places – Time and place to make sense of issue & next steps
  • 23. …Top 10 (continued)4. Make contact with youth/parents -don‟t assume that parents will know to contact you if they have concerns – Establish a preferred mode of communication – Remember it is really hard to connect with a teacher5. Find ways to connect directly with parents – Avoid using child as the messenger (it rarely arrives & when it does message may inaccurate – Remember it is really hard to connect with a teacher email great, phone, in private
  • 24. …Top 10 (continued)6. Work with youth/parents – Try not to wait until report card time, parent/teacher meetings or when a crisis erupts7. Use accessible language – avoid acronyms & teacher speak – e.g., “Johnny is doing great in the mornings”
  • 25. …Top 10 (continued)8. Avoid activating parents defenses – Put yourself in parent‟s shoes (never easy to hear that your child is struggling) – Remember mental disorders can be stigmatizing – Parents see kids in a different context & truly may not know what you are talking about9. Sharing difficult news can be difficult – Empathy for the young person/parent can be your best tool10. What‟s worked for you?