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Title: Primary school teachers and child mental health : developing knowledge and understanding
Author: Harrap, Catrin
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 4254
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2016
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Research estimates that around ten per cent of children in the UK between 5 and 16 years of age are diagnosed with a mental health disorder (MHD) (Green et al., 2005). The review of the literature suggests that teachers are not receiving specific training about child mental health (CMH) and lack confidence in their ability to respond to children’s mental health needs effectively (Trudgen and Lawn, 2011; Rothi, Leavey and Best, 2008). The reduced capacity of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) and increasing focus on early intervention has shifted government attention from clinical to community settings, such as schools (Stallard et al., 2012). Therefore, teachers are identified as ideally placed to promote CMH from an early stage and identify and respond appropriately to early indications of mental health issues (MHIs) (DfE, 2014b). This mixed methods study aimed to extend the research literature by exploring primary school teachers’ (PSTs’) current understanding of child mental health issues (CMHIs); their awareness and previous use of MH resources; and their perceptions of how they could best be supported to develop their knowledge. A questionnaire and semi-structured interview were designed to collect quantitative and qualitative data, which were analysed using descriptive statistics and thematic analysis. The findings indicate that the majority of PSTs had not received specific training about CMH and reported general uncertainty and confusion about the concept. The PSTs’ awareness and previous use of professional agencies were higher than their awareness and previous use of digital and literary resources. They requested opportunities for context-specific learning and ‘expert’ support, similar to mentoring and coaching models, in order to learn about CMH. The strengths, limitations and implications for educational psychology are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.Ed.Psy.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; LB1501 Primary Education