Adult & Workplace

Language Matters

Enhancing school staff understandings of how to use language effectively when discussing mental health topics with students and when addressing student mental health concerns. This sessions also provides strategies to manage one’s own mental health and wellbeing.

The details

School staff are major role models when it comes to teaching children to speak and use language that is not stigmatised. The language that is used in the school environment matters and can lead to a greater understanding and acceptance of mental health in schools and the wider community. Positive language can reduce society-wide stigma, decrease ignorance and reduce negative self-respect and self-esteem for students. Using appropriate language can also build trust and provide greater insights into student mental health concerns. We present the latest evidence based mental health language, guide by MIEACT’s DoNoHarm framework.

This is coupled with information about ways that school staff can manage their own stress and wellbeing through using strategies and self-efficacy to improve quality of life, work/life balance, enhance job satisfaction and increase self-esteem, personal growth and development.

By the end of the session, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of their language choices.
  • Understand the prevalence and incidence of mental health among students.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of mental health challenges among their students.
  • Deconstruct language choices present in their classroom environment.
  • Explore ways to exclude stigmatised language.
  • Identify ways that they can foster a mentally healthy classroom environment.
  • Identify ways that they can help seek for themselves and their students.
  • Learn methods to manage their own mental health and wellbeing.

This program will benefit school staff by:

  • Increasing confidence and ability in how to handle students’ mental health concerns effectively.
  • Improving mental health literacy and skills which can be applied at school and in other environments.
  • Developing a common approach to mental health language across the school
  • Improving how to manage one’s own mental health, which can translate to improved work performance and student outcomes.