From May 28-June 1, members of the SMHILE core team participated in collaborative learning in school mental health at the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership (IIMHL) exchange in Sweden. SMHILE co-hosted the Match focussed on issues in school mental health in Gothenberg, and led the workshop on education at the Network meeting in Stockholm. Details about each of these sessions are provided below.

IIMHL Match, Gothenberg, May 28-29, 2018
Optimizing the promise of school mental health: A roadmap to inclusion and better health

Gotenburg image by Arnold Exconde

Alongside our generous local co-hosts from Region Västra Götaland, Department of Public Health, the SMHILE core team designed and participated in the first ever IIMHL Match on school mental health. This two day session included a series of presentations from international leaders on core topics of interest:

  • Meaningful stakeholder engagement
  • Continuous quality improvement and measurement systems
  • Cross-sectoral collaboration to enhance the promise of school mental health.

The learning also included visits to a local school and hospital, as well as conversations that stimulated ideas and connections across our jurisdictions. The presentations from the Match can be found on the Region Västra Götaland, Department of Public Health website.

IIMHL Network Meeting Stockholm, May 30-June 1, 2018
Education Workshop: Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing through Strategic Involvement of the Education System

Stockholm image by Raphael Andres

SMHILE network members offered a series of ignite presentations designed to stimulate dialogue amongst workshop participants. These presentations have been summarized into an overarching presentation, here:

Together with IIMHL leaders who joined this education workshop, a number of key themes in school mental health were discussed. Two “game-changers” were identified and explored in world café format:

(1) Best practices in engaging youth voice and leadership to catalyze efforts in school mental health

(2) Building educator mental health literacy alongside efforts to enhance staff well-being

As a first step towards youth engagement, SMHILE committed to including youth voice in designing and supporting the school mental health Match at the next IIMHL meeting in Washington, September 2019.

SMHLE co-chairs Dr. Mark Weist (USA) and Dr. Kathy Short (Canada) would like to thank SMHILE network participants Drs. Eric Bruns (USA), Caroline Clauss-Ehlers (USA), and Claire Crooks (Canada) for their thoughtful presentations, and also Torill Larsen (Norway), Sigrun Danielsdottir (Iceland) and Louise Rowling (Australia) for their many contributions to the session and conversation. We are also pleased to welcome the many new SMHIILE members who have signed on to be part of our growing network! Looking forward to continued conversations following this exciting series of meetings in Sweden. We are very grateful to IIMHL for including us in the program, and providing a platform for international conversations about school mental health!