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A collaborative approach to support learners with mental health challenges in under-resourced schools: a secondary data analysis.

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2022

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Abstract

The burden of mental health problems is rising affecting both the functional and social lives of young and adult individuals. Given the high rates of student mental health difficulties worldwide and the escalation of incidences in schools, homes and communities, where learners fight with their peers, educators and families, specialist support is sparse within the Department of Education. Thus, it is imperative to explore the collaborative support provided to learners with mental health problems in schools. This secondary data analysis is about exploring the collaborative support to learners experiencing mental health challenges in under-resourced schools. The Biopsychosocial theory was used as a theoretical framework for this review. Data was collected from peer-reviewed publications and government policies. This review seeks to understand the challenges that are experienced by learners with mental health in underresourced schools and to establish how learners with mental health challenges are identified in schools. It also explored how learners are coping with mental health in schools as well as to ascertain the nature and extent of the collaborative support provided to learners with mental health and psychosocial concerns in under-resourced schools. The review found that there is ineffective and inefficient collaborative support provided to learners with mental health in under-resourced schools and that there is insufficient training to equip educators with skills to identify and support learners with mental health problems and coping strategies. The findings of the review recommended that the School Based Support Team ensures the using of the Screening, Identification Assessment and Support policy as a standardised tool to identify learners experiencing mental health challenges to enable the provision of relevant support and that in-service training of educators be mandatory to equip them with strategies to identify and support learners with mental health challenges. It also recommended that educators and other educational support professionals to acquire means within which to work collaboratively to benefit learners with mental health challenges.

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Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg.

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