BUILDING MENTAL HEALTH LITERACY WITHIN ONTARIO (CANADA) HEALTH AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION

Main Article Content

Thomas G. Ryan

Abstract

The primary research question which drove this analysis asked: What is Mental Health Literacy (MHL) and how is this accomplished in elementary schools in Ontario, given the new directives within the 2019 Health and Physical Education curricular document? Utilizing a qualitative research mode, the understanding of MHL was investigated through a summative latent content analysis of the current Ontario provincial government positions arising from the recent release of 2019, Ontario Health and Physical Education curricular document. The document of 320 pages is broad and somewhat deep instigating several secondary questions which asked: How should MHL be achieved in Health and Physical Education? What level of MHL awareness should Ontario Physical Educators and students reach for at the elementary level? What are the existing MHL guidelines and orientations impacting Ontario teachers? To what extent are Ontario teachers urged via the new curricula to focus and emphasize MHL in schools. MHL is a priority in this era of pandemic and critical to growth and development of teachers, students and the wider community accounting for well-being or lack of therein.
Keywords: mental health literacy, health and physical education, curriculum, pedagogy

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Author Biography

Thomas G. Ryan, Nipissing University

Professor of Education - Graduate Studies