We’ve developed a comprehensive training and orientation package that aims to support all staff implementing the YMHAC Initiative, including Public Health Leads, Schools Staff Leads and Mental Health Leads.
The goal of this training orientation is to: a) develop familiarity with the Initiative; b) understand mental health literacy; c) learn about the foundations for a Healthy Schools Approach; and d) learn about best practices in youth engagement, all of which are fundamental approaches guiding this Initiative.
It is expected that all staff involved in implementing the Initiative, regardless of role, receive all trainingmaterials and accompanying materials. Staff who may be involved can include health-care providers and nurses at the schools or community, teachers, parents and/or volunteers.
It is essential that principals endorse this Initiative in order to ensure teacher involvement, and extracurricular support by other staff and parents/guardians. Mental Health Leads can assist in messaging superintendents and principals about this important school/student/staff leadership opportunity.
The training materials were created in partnership with youth, health-care providers, nurses and educators, and include:
- An Adult Leads Training Manual for staff (which includes an Initiative Overview, Foundations for Healthy Schools, Understanding and Adopting Youth Engagement Principles, the Youth Lead Orientation Training materials and other supplementary resources); and
- Two Webinars (which includes an overview of the YMHAC Initiative and Foundations for Healthy Schools).
This training should take approximately 6-10 hours to complete. The delivery format can be adapted to support and accommodate schedules of individuals involved, availability of work space, etc. Your site may also consider setting up a date and time where those involved can come together to do the training, watch the webinars and debrief.
Adult Leads must be aware of the importance of developing an Evaluation Plan for when the program’s complete. Find out how in Section Seven.
Tips for Successful Training
- Ensure all staff receive all training materials and webinar links.
- Ensure that there is internet access and accessible computers to access webinars.
- If possible, provide dedicated time for staff to complete activities.
- Schedule time when staff are able to do the training together, and debrief about content and plan for next steps.
- Be aware of psychological safety and triggers. Please refer to the Section 5.1 for more information on psychological safety plans.