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(Canada) PEI: Mental health education should begin in the early grades

Dec 22, 2017, (Prince Edward Island, Canada) CBC News: P.E.I. introducing new mental health school curriculum http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-mental-health-school-curriculum-1.4438168 P.E.I. public schools are in the process of introducing a new piece of curriculum that will change the way mental health is taught and talked about. The Department of Education plans to incorporate a curriculum guide that focuses on building mental health literacy — not just awareness — into its current health curriculum. … Kutcher said building that literacy has been proven to help students better understand their own mental health, as well as that of their family and peers — along with when and how to seek help.... Before P.E.I. can fully incorporate this into their curriculum, it has to train teachers, said Maribeth Rogers Neale, the health and physical education curriculum leader for P.E.I.'s Department of Education, Early Learning and Culture. Rogers Neale said the department is figuring out the logistics of training its teachers, but hopes to have a plan in place early next year. (Randy McAndrew/CBC) "As you can appreciate, that's a lot of teachers on the Island, so we're looking at the planning around training intermediate level teachers first," she said. … Rogers Neale said Kutcher's work fits in well with the current health curriculum — which focuses on wellness, relationship skills and life learning choices. She said that starts with learning about emotions in the early grades, and in later years learning personal strategies to deal with stress and to express their emotions. Some of Kutcher's work was already incorporated in the province's Grade 10 curriculum in 2014, and teachers delivering that would have already received training to do so. The new training will bring it into earlier grades. "And even identifying any gaps that may be present, especially when we're looking at it with the mental health lens and we're learning more and more all the time about mental health," Rogers Neale said.