Destigmatizing Child and Adolescent Mental Health through Group Chat: A Workshop to Support the Emotional and Social Needs of Youth
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The purpose of this project was to raise awareness surrounding child and adolescent mental health in an effort to reduce preconceived stigmas in relation to this specialized field. This project presented a literature review of the current state of child and adolescent mental health in Canada today, including the prevalence and several treatment options for young people confronting mental health challenges. Consideration of the powerful role of the education system upon youth with mental health issues became evident, specifically regarding early identification and prevention. A needs assessment was conducted to gather feedback from the clinical practitioners of a Section 23 classroom within a Southern Ontario hospital. This assessment was used to develop an informational and pedagogical workshop resource to extend practitioner understanding of this pertinent issue and support the social and emotional needs of young people confronting mental heath challenges. Results of the assessment indicated the significant need for such a workshop resource, and these responses were used to guide the development of Group Chat: A Workshop to Support the Emotional and Social Needs of Youth. The latter was subsequently presented to participants, whereby evaluative questionnaires indicated the efficacy and usefulness of this workshop resource to both practitioners and students alike.