Groundbreaking study to probe mental health at school

HAMILTON — A team of McMaster researchers is conducting the first-ever Canadian study that explores the role schools play in the mental health of students, teachers and principals.  The Offord Centre for Child Studies, a multidisciplinary research institute made up of experts from McMaster Children’s Hospital and the university’s health sciences faculty, is conducting a survey at 240 Ontario schools, 15 in Hamilton.   Its goal is to gauge whether schools are doing enough to protect the mental health of staff and students and to give the provincial government suggestions as to how schools can improve in this area.   Kathy Georgiades, an associate professor in psychology and behavioural neuroscience at McMaster and one of the study’s principal investigators, says about 15 per cent of children suffer from mental health disorders. Without proper diagnosis, they can fall behind academically and socially, and those setbacks can have ripple effects that last for years.

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