Investigators/Collaborators: Elana Bloom, Elizabeth Roberts, Nancy Heath, Amy Shapiro
Funding Agency: Ministère de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport
Description: StressOFF Strategies (http://www.cea-ace.ca/fr/education-canada/article/teen-stress-our-schools; Shapiro & Heath, 2013) was created as a brief mindfulness-based stress management program for adolescents that can be integrated in the curriculum with few additional resources. In Year 1, we sought to determine if educators (classroom teachers and technicians) could effectively deliver SOS to their students and to evaluate educators’ perspectives on SOS delivery. Throughout the two months following the training, participants delivered the program to over 550 high school students. Results from student evaluations revealed equivalent student satisfaction with educator and SOS team delivery on students’ overall program rating, level of understanding, and willingness to use learned strategies in the future. Furthermore, 100% of educators strongly agreed (38.5%) or agreed (61.5%) that SOS was relevant, met their expectations and was feasible within their school.
In 2016 (Year 2), we evaluated the indirect delivery of SOS, with school mental health professionals (MHPs) learning how to train educators to deliver SOS in their schools. MHPs attended a workshop and learned how to deliver SOS and were provided with detailed information on how to train teachers to deliver the program. Throughout the three months following the initial training workshop, MHPs trained educators to deliver the program, which was presented to over 250 high school students. Results from student evaluations revealed high student satisfaction with educator delivery on students’ overall program rating, level of understanding, and likelihood or recommending the program to a friend. Despite the initial optimism, enthusiasm, and efforts on the part of the MHPs, it became apparent that there were a number of obstacles to having the train the trainer model work. In order to address the challenges encountered in this phase of the project, we are currently investigating the feasibility of a direct-delivery approach in which the SOS team is providing all materials required for learning to deliver the program directly to presenters.