Educational community stakeholders' perspectives about teachers' responsibilities for mental health promotion in Maltese schools
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The role of school teachers in promoting students’ mental health is receiving increasing international attention. However, before venturing into schools with new initiatives such as mental health promotion, it is essential to take into account local contextual affordances and constraints. One issue is whether teachers and other school community stakeholders believe that activities related to mental health promotion are within teachers’ realms of responsibility and capabilities. This paper reports findings from two questionnaire-based studies in Malta. The first questionnaire, about teachers’ responsibilities in areas related to developing students’ positive mental health, was delivered to community stakeholders attending three public lectures. The second questionnaire asked teaching staff in seven schools about their knowledge and capabilities for teaching to promote positive mental health. Results from the two studies indicate a foundation of support for whole school approaches to mental health promotion. Teachers’ responses from the second study indicate that many teachers do not feel strongly efficacious and knowledgeable about their roles in mental health promotion. Implications for teacher professional learning are discussed.