January 2012

Canadian Mental Health Association SEAK project

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The Quaich Inc is excited to be involved with the Canadian Mental Health Association's SEAK project. We have been contracted to design the project evaluation framework and prepare for ethics approval; also to provide consultation on partnership development. We are also in the process of negotiating a contract to develop a proposal on scaling up project findings to policy makers and influencers.

PRESS RELEASE

PHAC funds CMHA-NS to investigate Social and Emotional Learning in schools

Halifax, Nova Scotia — Canadian Mental Health Association - Nova Scotia Division wishes to thank the Public Health Agency of Canada for making possible the delivery of the SEAK Project. SEAK (Socially and Emotionally Aware Kids) is a four year project that will evaluate the real world implementation of a proven mental health promotion curriculum for elementary school-age children called Promoting Alternative THinking Strategies (PATHS).

The PATHS program is rooted in developmental neuroscience, which indicates that children experience rapidly changing and intense emotions before having the cognitive skills to verbalize and control those emotions.  This science-based approach recognizes that emotional language and self-control strategies are crucial for successful coping, adaptive behaviour, and positive interpersonal relations.

“We want to thank PHAC for recognizing the importance of providing social and emotional learning in Canadian schools,” says Gail Gardiner, Executive Director of the Canadian Mental Health Association - Nova Scotia.  “Not only do we see a reduction in negative behaviours such as bullying, but children who gain these skills, have also been shown to improve their academic grades and develop more positive relationships .”

The goal of SEAK is to increase the social and emotional competence of children in Canada in a manner that is sustainable, enhances existing supports and resources, and builds on community strengths. SEAK will examine the relationship with health service use when children gain these skills, as well evaluate the benefits to children and society long term. Using a population health and health promotion approach, along with a proven curriculum, SEAK aims to strengthen our children’s mental health throughout their lifetime.

For more information, contact:

Meagan MacDonald, Assistant SEAK Project Coordinator
Socially and Emotionally Aware Kids Project
Canadian Mental Health Association – Nova Scotia Division
Phone: 902-466-6600
Fax: 902-466-3300?
Email: seak@eastlink.ca

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