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Opening Minds in High School

It is with pleasure to share with you the results of CMHA/Champlain East, Talking About Mental Illness (TAMI) program Opening Minds in High School: Results of a Contact-Based Anti-Stigma Intervention Report. (Report available in English only at this time)

This report describes the results of a contact-based anti-stigma intervention provided to high school students. The results show that this program was successful in improving the proportion of students who got 80% of the answers correct, so received an “A” grade on the tests used to assess social stereotypes and social tolerance. The program achieved greater success in diminishing stereotyped attitudes (22% more students received an “A” grade at post-test) than expressions of social tolerance (14% more students received an “A” grade at post-test).

The positive findings suggest that there are components of the program that are working. Program staff considers a number of things contribute to their success, including:

  • Champion schools/school boards support mental health initiatives
  • School cultures in the area create wellness beyond these presentations
  • Agency profile of CMHA has been raised through local media and school fundraisers
  • Anti-stigma is central to the entire program
  • Access to Guest Speakers: speaker selection/orientation/coaching/presentation preparations • Delivery of the program is by Mental Health Promoters, not classroom teachers.

You can also access the document on the Mental Health Commission of Canada website at: http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/sites/default/files/Stigma_OM_High_School_Results_Contact_Based_Anti_Stigma_Intervention_ENG_0.pdf