Qualitative Evaluation of Mental Health Capacity Building Pilot Project in Saskatchewan Schools


School-based programs have been recommended as an effective way to tackle stigma and mental health burden among children and youth. As the Mental Health Capacity Building (MHCB) initiative was piloted across five Saskatchewan schools, this study sought to capture in-depth reflections from different stakeholders and provide experiential evidence of the initiative’s impacts. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with MHCB staff, teaching staff, student-leaders, and parents engaged in the initiative. A directed content analysis was used to synthesize the data and categorize them into four areas, further explained. The experiential evidence of the MHCB initiative showed improving mental health literacy, and positive emotional and social engagement for students (better health). The platform bridged the gap of care for some at-risk students in need of support or having difficulty reaching out (better care). The initiative inspired teacher integration of mental health programming into classrooms (better value) and created a wide network for mental health promotions (better teams). Overall, the MHCB initiative demonstrated encouraging evidence of improved mental health knowledge for engaged students and capacity building for engaged teachers in the schools and surrounding communities; hence, this study contributes to a deeper understanding of the impacts of universal mental health intervention for school-aged children.

© Common Ground Research Networks, Oluwasegun Bankole Hassan, Ali Bell, Stacey Alexandre, Brent Rioux, Some Rights Reserved (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0).
Hassan, Oluwasegun, Ali Bell, Stacey Alexandre, and Brent Rioux. 2023. "Qualitative Evaluation of Mental Health Capacity Building Pilot Project in Saskatchewan Schools." The International Journal of Health, Wellness, and Society 13 (1): 99-117. doi:10.18848/2156-8960/CGP/v13i01/99-117