Tier 1 School-Based Mental Health Literacy Library

August 30, 2021

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The University of Washington School Mental Health Assessment, Research, and Training Center (SMART Center) 
and Chad’s Legacy Project (CLP) have partnered to develop an online inventory of Tier 1 School-Based
Mental Health Literacy (MHL) programs for students in grades 8-12.

>>>Visit The Tier 1 School-Based Mental Health Literacy (MHL) Library<<<

About The Project

In partnership with Chad’s Legacy Project, the UW SMART Center has launched a project to identify universal, school-wide programs for high school students that meet an established definition for mental health literacy and determine alignment with Washington state learning standards for social-emotional learning & mental health literacy.

Overall, adolescents have higher rates of stigma towards mental illness and lower rates of mental health literacy. Because of this, adolescents are less likely to seek help and more likely to not enter treatment. Studies have shown promising results for the ability of school-based mental health programs to improve various aspects of student mental health literacy such as improve mental health knowledge, increase help-seeking behaviors, and improved attitudes towards mental illness. (Salerno, 2016)

The online inventory includes a listing of MHL programs along with information about:

  1. Which MHL components and Washington Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) learning standard each program addresses (see more information about each below)
  2. Program costs, training requirements, and how the program is delivered
  3. Evidence of program effectiveness

Project Goals

  1. Identify Tier 1 School-Based programs for high school students that meet an established definition for MHL and determine their alignment with state learning standards for social-emotional health
  2. Maintain a publicly available online inventory of curricula, training, and school-wide programs related to MHL

Project Components

The MHL Library Includes:

Detailed information on MHL options that meet certain criteria, including coverage of the four pillars of MHL (Kutcher et al., 2016):

  • Understanding how to foster and maintain positive mental health
  • Understanding mental health disorders and their treatments
  • Decreasing stigma
  • Understanding how to seek help effectively for self and others

Washington State Social Emotional Health Standards for Emotional, Mental and Behavioral Health for High School: 
(OSPI Health Education Standards)

  1. Compare and contrast emotional, mental and behavioral illness, mental well-being and concurrent disorders
  2. Describe how self-harm or suicide impacts other people
  3. Explain how to help someone who is thinking about attempting suicide
  4. Identify school and community resources that can help a person with emotional, mental and behavioral health concerns
  5. Describe laws related to minors accessing mental health care
  6. Advocate for reducing stigma associated with emotional, mental and behavioral health

Project Resources

Read a related article from the Association of Washington School Principals

Listen to a podcast about this project

Want more information and school mental health resources? Visit the Northwest MHTTC's School Mental Health page and sign up for our newsletter to stay current on events, trainings, and resources available to the Northwest region.

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