Date of Award

Spring 5-12-2023

Document Type

Project (696 or 796 registration)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Counseling


Graduate Studies

Committee Chair

Jessica Brown


mental health literacy, elementary, education, recognition, training


Young school children struggle with mental illness at a high rate, but often do not receive treatment or referral to mental health resources (Paula et al., 2014). Because of their age, their support systems are the first line of defense toward recognizing and reporting concerning symptoms of mental illness. Educators act as one of these support systems, but research shows mental health education for teachers is lacking in comprehension and adequacy (Dix et al., 2019). This literature review and training focuses on Mental Health Literacy (MHL), which promotes positive mental health education and literacy through encouraging help-seeking, recognition of mental disorders, knowledge of risk factors, and more. Discussion in the literature also includes limitations of this program and its application to schools, suggesting prevalent issues in funding and school support. Application of this theory for educator mental health training aims to help educators recognize symptoms of mental illness, self-harm, suicidal ideation, and abuse. It also includes information on collaborating with parents and outside resources to build a student’s support system. MHL is supported through research in these topic areas, citing increasing positive effects toward educators and students (Bjǿrnsen et al., 2019). The purpose of this training is to increase educator awareness, decrease stigma, and increase positive attitudes and competence in MHL. Overall, Mental Health Literacy is a positive theory supported by research, offering comprehensive education to teachers while supporting students struggling with mental health (Bjǿrnsen et al., 2019).



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