MasterMind: Empower yourself with mental health. A program for adolescents

Katherine A. Tacker, Sharon Dobie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Teachers need classroom-based programs to develop and support mental health fitness in adolescents because this age group faces significant challenges to their mental health. There is a paucity of such ready-made programs. This article describes the development and proposed implementation of a low-cost, effective, adaptable, 6-week, classroom-based workshop entitled MasterMind: Empower Yourself With Mental Health. MasterMind provides students with a "toolbox for mental health" by creating a safe environment for discussion of mental health and emotionally charged topics, by increasing student knowledge of mental health issues, and by providing tools to develop and maintain mental health. Instructional materials address topics identified through needs assessments. The program combines instruction and written exercises with "peer-teaching-peer" group activities, individual assignments, and open discussion. Specific methods are included to allow students to ask questions anonymously and to build each other's self-esteem. MasterMind was implemented as a pilot program to a Seattle, WA, middle school class of 30 students and addressed self-esteem, media literacy, school resources, relationships, emotions, stress and ways to de-stress, and future goals. The students' enthusiasm and participation increased throughout the program, and they gave high satisfaction ratings to the topics covered. Additionally, the host teacher continued selected program activities after MasterMind was completed. MasterMind educates all students in a class, not just those with identified emotional problems, and can potentially identify children with mental health needs not already evident. The pilot program implementation of MasterMind shows that such programs have potential for providing adolescents with tools to optimize mental health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-57
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume78
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2008

Keywords

  • Child and adolescent health
  • Emotional health
  • Health educators
  • Mental health
  • Organization and administration of school health programs
  • School health instruction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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