Institute of Child and Adolescent Health, Beijing Medical University Ministry of Health, Beijing Education Committee, Beijing Health Bureau
September 1997 to September 2000
To improve the mental health and well-being of students through Life Skills Education and to demonstrate that a mental health component can be part of WHOs Health Promoting Schools Initiative.
Background Research undertaken in China indicates a high prevalence of problem behaviours amongst school students including, drug and alcohol problems and violence. Introducing Life Skills programmes into school curricula is an important strategy to help students deal more effectively with the challenges of life and to reduce the prevalence of problem behaviours.
Project Description At least ten secondary schools from one or two districts in Beijing will be selected for implementation of the project. The primary target will be 7th and 8th grade students.
A major aim of this project is to perfect the teaching materials, ensuring the feasibility of their use in China, and training a number of future trainers of teachers in the classroom techniques for Life Skills Education.
Training of key project organizers will be conducted through attendance at a WHO workshop on Life Skills. Workshops will also be used to inform and train principals, school teachers, and nurses. Teachers will hold meetings with parents to explain the purpose of Life Skills Education and to encourage their involvement.
Two matched control schools will be used, for comparison purposes, to examine the effectiveness of the Life Skills Education programme. Attitudes, skills and behaviours of school children in intervention and control schools will be assessed prior to implementation of the programme and one year following its implementation.
Performance indicators would include ratings along a number of dimensions such as acceptability of the programme, usefulness and perceived changes in students' behaviours and mental health characteristics. Teachers, parents and children would complete these ratings. Objective indicators would include more positive attitudes, beliefs and practices of children in schools receiving the programme compared with control schools. By the end of the project, a further indicator will be an expressed wish for broader integration of Life Skills Education into school teaching.
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