Equipping prospective teachers to support the mental wellness of students

Equipping prospective teachers to support the mental wellness of students

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What skills and knowledge do classroom teachers need to more effectively promote the emotional, psychological, and social well-being of students? That was the question on the table at the recently held first meeting of a workgroup representing leaders of teacher-preparation programs at a dozen universities in four Western states. The group was convened as part of the federally funded Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, co-administered by WICHE’s Behavioral Health Program and the University of North Dakota College of Nursing and Professional Disciplines.

The goal is to make formal recommendations on how to incorporate mental-health and wellness training into preparation programs so that newly minted teachers are better equipped to recognize warning signs, provide effective classroom management, and take advantage of resources for support and referral.

The four states represented in the group are Colorado (University of Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver), Montana (Montana State University, University of Montana’s Missoula and Western campuses), North Dakota (Mayville State University, University of North Dakota, Valley City State University), and South Dakota (South Dakota State University, University of Sioux Falls, University of South Dakota).