Embedded Strategies refers to placing interactions and activities aimed at promoting positive mental health firmly into all aspects of the school day – in the classroom, lunchroom, hallways, restrooms, during recess, and afterschool. Why? Because every moment counts in a young person's life. Small moments can make big differences in how students feel about themselves, the people around them and their school.
Embedding mental health promotion strategies does not necessarily mean 'doing more', but 'doing differently'. School staff and students can learn how to interact with each other and engage in activities that have been found to help people feel good emotionally and do well functionally (i.e. positive mental health) – such as: engaging in enjoyable activities2, focusing on strengths3, and effectively coping with stressors4 to name a few.
Information shared in this part of the website has been developed to help all school personnel learn and apply practical strategies that can be embedded throughout the day to:
- Promote mental health and enhance mental health literacy (Tier 1, all students)
- Prevent mental health challenges (Tier 2, at-risk students); and
- Become aware of symptoms associated with mental health challenges and learn how to make accommodations and interact in ways to help reduce stress and enhance functioning (Tier 3).
Before delving into these materials, make sure to read information provided in the top tab on Positive Mental Health so that you have an understanding of: the mental health continuum, positive psychology, mental health literacy, and a public health approach to mental health.
Suggestion: Invite a diverse group of school personnel (teachers, OTs, school psychologists, para-educators, speech therapists, principals, parents) to read about positive mental health and embedded strategies on this website. Meet to reflect on the information and discuss how the team will collaborate to implement mental health promotion strategies – in big and small ways!
1 Mirriam Webster Learner’s Dictionary. Definition of embed. Retrieved from http://www.learnersdictionary.com/definition/embed
2 Fredrickson, B. L. (2004). The broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 359, 1367-77.
3 Seligman, M. E. P. (2002). Authentic happiness. New York: Free Press.
4 Catalano, R. F., Hawkins, D., Berglund, M. L., Pollard, J. A., & Arthur, M. W. (2002). Prevention science and positive youth development: Competitive or cooperative frameworks? Journal of Adolescent Health, 31, 230-239.