An eHealth program developed by a team of leading Canadian researchers
1 in 5 children with a mental health disorder in Canada receives treatment
A major concern for educators, parents, and youth is how to meet the needs of youth with mental health disorders in the educational setting. Children and adolescents spend the majority of their day in schools, and families are turning to schools for more support.
Focusing on neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs)
Currently, Canadian school systems are struggling to meet the needs of children with mental health disorders. Schools are the ideal location for mental health services, given that children and youth are more likely to seek services within rather than outside of their schools. As most of you know, mental health disorders can include anxiety and depression, but also a sub-group of disorders called neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). These include (but are not limited to) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and learning disabilities (LD).
ASSIST currently focuses on this group of disorders.
In a recent survey, 90% of teachers indicated that students with NDDs are the most pressing classroom concern.
It is difficult for educators to meet the needs of students with NDDs in the classroom. With a growing number of students with NDDs in the classroom, limited pre-and in-service training, as well as limited access to resources, time, and money, teachers require more preparation to work effectively with these students.
Vision of ASSIST
The vision for this program was the result of previous research led by Dr. Penny Corkum and her team, which included health researchers and educators. Teachers have consistently expressed the need for readily accessible and vetted information along with support to help them implement best-practice interventions in a feasible and adaptable way. This is the goal of the ASSIST program.