Why are we doing the project?

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of strengthening the mental health of secondary school students. While all sections of society were affected with severe mental health impacts, children and adolescents appeared particularly vulnerable and suffered at a higher rate due to pandemic conditions and the deferral of needs over a long period of time (1). While scientific studies are still ongoing (2) psychologists and educators warn about the long-term impact of COVID-19 on the mental health of students, especially those already at risk before the pandemic (3). The challenge of protecting and promoting the mental health of secondary school students will thus remain post-pandemic. SENSE targets the school sector-specific Erasmus+ priority by adequately equipping teachers to enable all learners, especially students whose mental health and well-being is at risk or compromised, to succeed in school and in life.
  1. https://www.uke.de/kliniken-institute/kliniken/kinder-und-jugendpsychiatrie-psychotherapie-undpsychosomatik/forschung/arbeitsgruppen/child-public-health/forschung/copsy-studie.html
  2. https://lernencovid19.univie.ac.at/
  3. https://www.unicef.org/reports/state-worlds-children-2021

Mission statement

Make mental health and wellbeing more visible.

  • Increase mental health literacy.
  • Change attitude and decrease stigma.
  • Make helpseeking behavior more likely.

What are the overall project objectives?

SENSE wants to create in-service training offers to equip secondary school teachers with the KNOWLEDGE, RESOURCES and SKILLS needed to succeed in providing low threshold PROMOTION, PREVENTION and EARLY INTERVENTION in students’ mental health. Relevant professionalisation of teachers improves pupil’s conditions to participate successfully in school and social life, which in turn provides a better foundation for a fulfilling adult and working life.

The SENSE consortium of partner from DE, AT, BE, ES, ET, led by Universität Köln, pursues its objectives by:

  • Analysing how secondary school teachers can assess, preserve and strengthen student’s mental health.
  • Producing an awareness-raising and informational brochure.
  • Developing in-service training formats and a toolbox.
  • Launching a wide communication strategy to promote the project and the issue of mental health and well-being in school.
  • Applying professional project management.

What are the intended outcomes of the project?

SENSE develops 3 key results in English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Estonian language:

SENSE Brochure

An informational brochure aimed primarily at teachers, containing information on mental health in the context of secondary education in a condensed and concise manner.

SENSE Toolbox

A mental health toolbox for classroom use, containing materials and methods for the classroom.

SENSE Course

An in-service training course for secondary school teachers, both face-to-face and online.

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