Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) Projects

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Doctor of Nursing Practice

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Family Nurse Practioner

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Teachers, educators, mental health, education, training, adolescent


Mary Paterno



Background: Adolescent mental health disorders are an increasing concern in the United States. School systems, specifically educators, are in the unique role to aid in early identification of mental health disorders, as well to intervene in mental health distress. However, mental health training for educators is lacking, leaving educators unprepared to manage mental health concerns within their classroom.

Purpose: The purpose was to utilize an evidence-based training, the “Teacher Knowledge Update Guide” from to train middle school educators on the signs and symptoms of mental health conditions in the adolescent population with the intent to increase awareness, knowledge, and confidence level within the educators.

Method: Within a Massachusetts K1-8th public school, an in-person training consisted of one two-hour session. The participants conducted pre- and post-survey and grade level group interviews to determine level of awareness, knowledge, and confidence level.

Results: Eighteen educators completed the training and surveys. Of the eighteen, twelve volunteered for group interviews. Results from the surveys indicated an increase in awareness, knowledge, and confidence amongst middle school educators regarding adolescent mental health as well as deeming the training beneficial. The group interviews indicated an increase in awareness and knowledge from the training but that participants lacked confidence to manage adolescent mental health disorders within their classrooms.

Conclusion: Training middle school educators on adolescent mental health can be a benefit to both adolescents and middle school educators when training is completed successfully within the school setting.

Keywords: Teachers/educators, mental health, education, training, adolescent

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.