• A Junior Educator’s Guide to Proactively Promoting Mental Health and Well-Being Through Resilience

      McCartie, Laura
      This project explored existing research on the mental health and well-being of Ontario’s children and youth, and the perceived role of educators and the education system in supporting student mental health and well-being. Current research and policy implications indicate an unbalanced focus on mental illnesses and treatment, yet the need for support is paramount. Because educators play a crucial role in both proactive and reactive care, this study adopted the Positive Psychology framework to develop a handbook titled Promoting Resilience: A Junior-Level Educator’s Guide to Proactively Supporting Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Well-Being (the Guide), a resource for Ontario educators that is targeted for the junior grades (grades 4 to 6; ages 9 to 12). The Guide encompasses preventative strategies aligned with the Positive Psychology framework that focuses on proactively building resilience. Each subsection of the Guide aims to inform educators of the necessity for mental health and well-being initiatives, their role in preventatively supporting student mental health and well-being, various strategies to adapt into their teaching practice to cultivate resilience, and avenues for influencing students’ positive mental health and well-being.
    • The Social Construction of the DSM-5 & its Impact on Patient Dignity

      Bassingthwaighte, Andrew
      The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorder (5th Ed. or DSM-5) represents a foundational text within the psychiatric and mental health field, a document that is historically and socially positioned within the field as the global standard for diagnostic health information. Significant criticism, though, has been levelled against the DSM-5, highlighting concerns around its underlying ethnocentric positioning as well as scientific concerns around the reliability and validity of different diagnoses. This study explores the current state of the DSM-5. It seeks to understand how its development has shaped and promoted a variety of discourses within the mental health field, as well as looking at the impact these discourses have had on the dignity and day-to-day functioning of millions of patients, both younger and elder, for whom it has been conceived to offer therapeutic interventions. Drawing on Social Constructionist and Foucauldian frameworks to conduct this discursive analysis of the DSM-5, I identify the dominant discourses of the DSM-5, as well as the discursive rules which have been reinforced by the American Psychiatric Association to promote these practices. The dominant discourses identified include expertise, medicalizing normality, conceptualizations of culture, and control.