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05/07/2011

Let’s Talk: Opening the Doors for Discussion

Roles Parents & Youth Appreciate In addition to teaching… teachers/school professionals are key members of the:

Identification team Assessment team Advocacy/support team Treatment team Academy in School Mental Health

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Helping to Identify First point of contact/identification Teachers/school prof. often 1st to suggest possibility of a mental disorder (e.g., ADHD) (Sax & Kautz, 2003) Accessible & trusted source of information to youth and/or parents Have established relationship

‘Hidden’ or non-obvious disabilities Parents/teachers/youth not always aware of difficulties Parents/teachers/youth not always accepting of difficulties (diagnosis ≠ acceptance/support)

‘Hidden’ Disabilities Barriers to disclosure of ‘hidden’ disability Stigma – Fear of being discredited/discriminated against (even within own family or school) Fear of peers finding out Fear of impact of ‘academic record’ Self-advocacy difficult even in most supportive trusting relationship Timing of disclosure (needed to access services) Need to involve/link other professionals together (e.g., psychiatrist, psychologist, teachers)

Academy in School Mental Health

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Helping to Assess Assessment team member Provide key insight into behaviours of child in a setting with various levels of structure ((indpendent p work to g group p work)) Provide insight into social functioning Provide accurate comparisons to developmental peer group Accurately complete standardized measures for initial diagnosis & treatment improvements

Helping Advocate & Support Advocacy/support team member Act as a point of contact for youth/parents to navigate specialized school services (e.g., social work, psychology, OT, Speech) Provide informal f modifications/accomodations f / Provide a supportive relationship to youth/parent Attend planning sessions (IEP) & provide insights from the classroom setting, including peer interaction and strengths

Academy in School Mental Health

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

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05/07/2011

Helping with Treatment

How To’s (Identification) To hear about child’s special learning needs…

Treatment team member

Key is to start the conversation with youth/parents during a time of ‘less stress’ (not always possible e.g., psychosis) As mental disorders are ‘hidden’ having a process to meet ‘n’ greet provides an opportunity for youth/parents to share Especially important when youth is entering a new school which is more stressful t f l for f youth th & parents t Also ask about strengths, what’s worked/not worked Helps to identify who else might be involved with youth/family (e.g., Family doctor, psychologist, social worker etc.) Parents/youth may want to know about particular process within school to access supports/resources (e.g., IEP, social work) Parents may want teachers/school staff to be involved in assessment/treatment process including sharing info with team

You don’t need to be therapist to be therapeutic Collaborate with parents, youth mental health professionals to help create/maintain success at school (socially, emotionally, academically) A positive understanding relationship goes a long way Responsive/differentiated teaching, using accommodations/modifications helpful to enhance success, reduce distress (lower ‘anxiety) & improve fit Implementing formal classroom/school-based programming, where possible Academy in School Mental Health

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

How To’s (Identification) To share about child’s challenges… Relationship is key (get to know parents/youth) The ‘when’ & ‘how’ you start this conversation is key (email great, phone, in private) Strive to hear parents view prior to sharing your viewpoint Acknowledge their expertise - share your expertise as an educator

Need for assessment is often the first message (typically facilitated by youth/by Family doctor) Observe & document concerns/worries (e.g., change of mood, behaviour, social, work habits, hygiene) Meet with youth/parents early in process to share your concerns Share what you have tried in-class Share your plan for additional services before you implement

Check in with other teachers/school staff

8.

parents and teachers)…

1. 2. 3 3.

4. 5.

When meeting with parents use their names (not Mom and Dad) Share what your concerns are in terms of behaviour (not in terms of diagnosis, such as ADHD) Have serious conversations during a time/place the respects confidentiality & when parents & teacher have time to chat/make sense of challenges and next steps etc. Work with youth/parents – don’t wait to meet until report card time, parent/teacher meetings or when a crisis errupts Use accessible language (avoid using acronyms & teacher speak) and implicit messaging (e.g., “Johnny is doing great in the mornings)

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Make contact with youth/parents (don’t assume that parents will know to contact you if they have concerns) Establish a preferred mode of communication (i.e., email, phone) Remember it is really hard to connect with a teacher on the phone or leave confidential messages (e.g., “hello, this is student Bobby”)

7.

Tips for sharing with parents (helpful tips shared by

Academy in School Mental Health

More How To’s (Identification) 6.

More How To’s (Identification)

More How To’s (Identification) 10. ….what has worked for you?

Find ways to connect directly with parents (rather than using child g ((as it may y never be received and/or will certainly y as the messenger be conveyed in a manner other than intended) Avoid activating parents defensiveness Put your self in the parent’s shoes - it is never easy to hear that your child is struggling/having a tough time Remember that mental health disorders can be stigmatizing Parents see children in a different context and truly may not know about the difficulties that you see within school setting

9.

Sharing difficult news can be difficult Empathy for the young person & parent can be your best tool Academy in School Mental Health

Academy in School Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

Presented by: Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health

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Alan mcluckie 6 slides(1)