Year of Publication
Doctor of Nursing Practice
Dr. Andrew Makowski
Dr. Holly Gray
Dr. Chizimuzo Okoli
Background: An estimated 17.1 million youth have experienced a mental health disorder, more than the number of children with cancer, diabetes, and AIDS combined (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2016). Unfortunately, of those children with a diagnosable condition, only a third receive mental health treatment (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2016). If a child or adolescent’s mental health disorder is left untreated, then unresolved issues may continue to affect them as adults, creating physical and mental health impairments, that could potentially have a negative impact on their futures. Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) is an evidenced-based training program that teaches professionals a five-step action plan to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental health conditions in children and adolescents, including suicidal situations (National Council for Behavioral Health, 2016). The purpose of this DNP project was to evaluate if a web-based educational module could improve the knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of teachers regarding mental health and Adapted YMHFA.
Design: Using a one group pretest-posttest design, this project evaluated the effect of an Adapted YMHFA educational module for middle school teachers on their knowledge of mental health problems among students, attitudes towards students with mental health problems, subjective norms about addressing mental health issues, perceived behavioral control in addressing mental health issues, and intentions to address mental health issues.
Methods: This web-based intervention had 3 main components including: 1) a 5-minute electronic pre-survey and pre-test, 2) a 20-minute web-based educational module, and 3) a 5-minute electronic post-survey and post-test. Teachers’ willingness to enroll in and complete the formal YMHFA training course within the next year was assessed prior to education and following education. This project was implemented in January 2022 at multiple catholic grade schools within the Archdiocese of Louisville.
Results: Data was collected from five participants. There was a statically significant increase in perceived behavioral control. While there was not a statistically significant change in knowledge, findings from the post-survey showed improvement in attitudes, subjective norms, and intentions.
Conclusion: Findings did not display a statistically significant change in teachers’ knowledge post intervention which is likely because of the small sample size and knowledge levels were high prior to the intervention. Though minimal improvements were noted in three out of the four categories from pre to post-survey, statistically significant improvement was noted in teachers perceived behavioral control following the educational intervention. With this being the first quasi-experiment on YMHFA web-based trainings within school settings, this project will hopefully set a precedent for future research, because teachers are in a prime position to positively impact students’ lives, especially those who may be suffering in silence.
Hurley, Lauren, "Evaluation of Middle School Teachers Knowledge, Attitudes, and Barriers Pertaining to Adapted Youth Mental Health First Aid for Middle School Students" (2022). DNP Projects. 408.