This good practice reports an open schooling initiative about “Improving mental health in schools”, which was developed by the teachers Neus Esparó and Rosanna Adam of the Joaquim Ruyra School in L’Hospitalet de Llobregat from 02/05/22 to 20/05/22. The activities included professionals from Living Lab for Health of IrsiCaixa). It was supported by IrsiCaixa. This practice was presented previously at the Living Lab and the presentation is available here (in Catalan).
Care: Students were interested and concerned around mental health, which is a real-life problem. The question we asked to attract the interest of students was: What is Mental Health for you? Do you think it can be cured? Students who participated in the activities were 52 students of 4th of primary, of 9 and 10 years.
Know: Students used knowledge about values and ethics, of the environment, of the senses and application of part of the scientific method. The skills that students practiced were to ask questions, analyze data, discuss claims and evidence, take and write conclusions.
Do: At the end, students prepared a mural with all the questions and answers of the research on mental health, with proposals for improvement and finally elaborated a presentation in digital format to prepare the participation in the sentinel congress held in the auditorium of the Cosmocaixa in Barcelona. They completed the activities in groups and supported by community members.
Findings related to Open Schooling approach: The activity did not fit in the curriculum. It was challenging and innovative. Open schooling might be useful for other teachers because it can change the vision of students in relation to mental health problems and how to help people who suffer from it.
Change/innovation supported by:
[X] schoolhead [ ] school association/network [ ] local government [X] Other: Living Lab for Health
Students’ Outcomes: Students learned about mental health concepts and that related diseases can be suffered by anyone and at any age. As an example, a student mentioned “When I talk to my psychiatrist, I feel much better”. With these words he shared and normalized going to the psychiatrist and the work that these specialists do.