An Evaluation of a Mindful Schools Project Focusing on Youth Mental Health Training Components
Keywords:mental health program, school environment, evaluation, logic model
There is an ongoing debate about how to serve the number of students that are affected by mental health concerns. Some schools are implementing a program called Youth Mental Health First Aid USA (YMHFA) as part of the Mindful Schools Project/ AWARE that assists schools in developing safer environments and increasing mindful awareness of issues related to school-age children mental health in the community. This article evaluates the perceived effectiveness of the YMHFA program training components. Using an evaluation method, the goals of this study are to (a) determine what aspects of the training were viewed as most beneficial to help the students from the school staff perspective, and (b) determine the extent to which the staff used the five elements of the program to support the students emotionally, and (c) to determine the effect of the program on the school environment. Survey questionnaires were used to collect data from staff members. Descriptive statistics were used to inform recommendations for the next steps in the development of the program. Staff surveyed endorsed the satisfaction of the implementation of the mental health program in schools. Recommendations for the practice of mindfulness are discussed in relation to the YMHFA training components.