This best practice exemplifies an Open Schooling program focused on promoting a Healthy Mind, which was developed by Caterina Albert High School. This project was collaboratively developed by Glòria Rodríguez with baccalaureate students.
Taking care of young people’s mental health is a necessity. Schools are a fundamental part of their lives, so we could promote their emotional well-being. This year, we have implemented Healthy Minds, an Open Schooling project within the framework of the European project CONNECT, which aims to promote the mental health of students through a participatory research process. Another objective is to raise awareness that science and the scientific method can be useful in solving the challenges we face as a society and to abandon the idea “I’m not into science” that we often hear in the classrooms.
At the Caterina Albert High School in Barcelona, we have implemented Healthy Minds with a group of first-year baccalaureate students in the context of the subject of Scientific Challenges. During 2 sessions, we have conducted an analysis of the group members’ needs regarding mental health and prioritized them through a consultation process. We have designed and implemented an action plan based on various activities that address the prioritized needs, and we have evaluated the process and the learnings acquired regarding mental health and everything related to participatory research methodology. During the process, we had planned to involve families, but motivating them to participate has been a challenging task.
The results of implementing Healthy Minds in our school are still in a very early phase, although they reflect an increased awareness among students about the importance of promoting mental health. They have begun to integrate participatory research as a process to solve problems that affect them in collaboration with other stakeholders, and they have designed an action plan for the promotion of mental health. The activities that have been carried out are few, and we will evaluate how to implement it further in the coming school year by involving more stakeholders and incorporating it into the Educational Project of the school.