EMPOWER: Empowering parents through the development of an online evidence-based mental health promotion school engagement resource
Dr Aleisha Clarke from the World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research at the National University of Ireland Galway was recently successful in obtaining a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship. She will carry out her Fellowship at the Department of Psychology, Health and Technology, UT. The focus of her research will be centered around the development of an evidence-based resource for primary schools to support parental engagement in school mental health promotion. Schools are recognised as a key setting in enhancing children’s social and emotional wellbeing. Evidence to date indicates that school interventions have the greatest impact when they are focused on linking children, teachers and parents in the promotion of positive mental health. To date, however, there is an absence of research and resources to assist schools in supporting parental engagement. This research will address this crucial gap in school mental health and will assist in progressing the field of school mental health beyond individualised classroom-based interventions to the adoption of a holistic multi-modal approach with children, teachers and parents working together in the promotion of positive mental health. During this two year programme of training and research, Aleisha will work alongside Prof Ernst Bohlmeijer and researchers at the Department of Psychology, Health and Technology and the Centre for eHealth Research and Disease Management in the development and piloting of this online resource with primary schools in Twente.