Mental health learning in Ontario uses the RAISE principle. It is:
- Iterative and Implementation-Sensitive
Role-specific – Different roles require different information when it comes to mental health. Teachers need different knowledge than principals, who need different knowledge than trustees, who need different knowledge than bus drivers, and so on.
Action-oriented – Rather than simply providing descriptive information about mental health (e.g., what is depression), mental health learning in Ontario features strategies and ideas that can be used in schools and classrooms right away (e.g., everyday mental health suite)
Iterative and implementation-sensitive – One-off speakers and conferences have limitations when it comes to uptake of evidence-based practices. Educators learn best when knowledge is acquired systematically over time, ideally with opportunities for dialogue and coaching. Learning is not an event, it is a process. Ongoing implementation support is critical for enhancing confidence in school mental health.
Selective – Education professionals do not need to know everything about mental health in order to perform their role. For example, educators should be aware of tier 1 practices and be aware of when to be concerned, while mental health professionals have a more diagnostic and intervention based scope. Mental health learning in Ontario is focused more on upstream mental health promotion and prevention, and much less on mental illness.
Evidence-informed – Mental health learning in Ontario is carefully vetted to ensure that it aligns with research and with current thinking in school mental health globally. Materials are reviewed by school mental health professionals, practicing educators/leaders, and researchers to ensure quality and relevance. Learning methods are also evidence-informed, and align with preference modeling research.
If you are considering mental health learning in your board or school, keep the RAISE principles in mind. Not all speakers, workshops, or conferences are helpful. Consult the Decision Support Tool, and/or your mental health leader If you’re not sure.