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J Sch Nurs. 2006 Apr;22(2):81-6.

Teaching children about mental health and illness: a school nurse health education program.

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Multnomah Education Service District, Portland, OR, USA.


A mental health education program designed by school nurses for children ages 10- 12 was developed in 2000-2001 and expanded with broader distribution in 2004-2005. Six classroom sessions, each 45 minutes in length, provided information and activities to increase children's awareness of mental health and illness. Education program content included facts about the brain's connection to mental health, information about healthy ways to manage stress, resources and activities to promote mental health, common mental health problems experienced by children, and how to seek help for mental health problems. Classes included a combination of didactic presentation and open discussion, encouraging students to ask questions and allowing the school nurse to correct misinformation. Analysis of pre- and posttests from 370 elementary and middle school students revealed statistically significant improvements in their knowledge of mental health and mental illness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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