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Towards School Mental Health in Nigeria: Baseline Knowledge and Attitudes of Elementary School Teachers

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There is a shortage of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) professionals all over the world, and this shortage is especially critical in most parts of the developing world. Schools have been identified as ideal settings to reach needy children in the community, and training teachers in CAMH issues can help improve early identification and appropriate referrals of children with mental health problems. As part of a needs assessment for developing a training programme, selected Nigerian elementary school teachers were asked to complete confidential questionnaires to determine their perceptions of mental health problems in school children. Teachers indicated that they had no previous CAMH training. Baseline assessments revealed that teachers' knowledge of CAMH was deficient, and attitudes to children with mental health problems revealed intolerance. Incorporation of CAMH care into teacher education curricula is a critical next step towards integrating school teachers as mental health collaborators in school mental health programmes in Nigeria.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2011

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  • Published by The Clifford Beers Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Advances in School Mental Health Promotion emphasises the interconnectedness of research, policy, training and practice and the opportunities to make progress in all these areas through global dialogue, collaboration and action. Mark Weist (University of South Carolina and former director/senior advisor of the Center for School Mental Health) and Michael Murray (The Clifford Beers Foundation) are the editors, supported by a distinguished international editorial board.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is an academic journal that co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion in schools and is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information resource which publishes material of distinction submitted by those with a clinical, professional, academic or personal interest in promoting mental health in schools

    The aim of the Journal is to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    Advances in School Mental Health Promotion is the official journal of the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (InterCAMHS), an alliance that aims to promote the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people.

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