Saúde mental infantojuvenil e inclusão escolar: desafios, demandas e proposição de formação continuada para professores
Lins, Sarah Raquel Almeida
The World Health Organization and recent studies indicate that schools have been receiving students with mental health disorders, but little is known about these children and how teachers have acted with them. Teachers report insecurity to deal with this public and it has been indicated that providing knowledge on child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) to those involved with the school context can be a potent strategy. The present research objective was firstly to understand teachers’ – from primary and secondary levels – daily school routines in dealing with students in psychological distress and, secondly, to offer these teachers a course about CAMH focused on the school context. Study 1 refers to a quantitative, transverse and descriptive research that involved: the identification of the teachers’ conception of children’s mental health, the school reality as well the demands with this public. 164 public school teachers (104 from regular classrooms and 60 from multifunctional-resource classrooms) participated in the study, all of them were linked to the local education network of two medium-sized cities in the state of São Paulo, and they answered two questionnaires. The results revealed that the actions taken by teachers concerning children with mental health disorders are: adaptation of resources, activities and curriculum, dialogue with students and their families, and partnerships between the regular classroom teacher and the resource room teacher. It has been shown that teachers have difficulty speaking about CAMH, due to the little theoretical and practical apparatus in this field. They recognize the importance of knowing more about the subject and suggest themes to compose an educational project in this area, such as: CAMH, intervention strategies and how to present case studies. It discusses the importance of approaching issues related to CAMH in school as a way to support the diversity present in this public with which teachers to achieve both educational and social inclusion. Whereas the Study 2 involved a pilot study on the proposal of a course, application and initial assessment of intervention focusing on the theme “Child Mental Health: Building Knowledge with Multifunctional-Resource Room Teachers”. The course consisted of a 30-hour workload and was developed in eight face-to-face meetings intertwined with out-of-classroom activities, focusing on the daily school routine which distances itself from a medico-centered approach. 53 female teachers who work in multifunctional-resource rooms, linked to the education network of two municipalities in the state of São Paulo, who had participated in Study 1, participated in this second study and answered a questionnaire. The participants evaluated positively the course focusing on the daily practice, and they suggested changes in the way of seeing and relating to the students, treating them with more empathy, understanding and respect. The teachers revealed that they shared the course material with other professionals and showed an interest to delve into the subject. For new course formats, participants proposed a more focused approach onto households as well as the attendance of regular classroom teachers and school managers. Teachers do have both demands and interest in the subject of CAMH and understand that this is a reality of the school routine that has implications in the children’s possibilities of staying, coexisting and learning there. In conclusion, addressing children’s mental health with teachers can contribute to the strengthening of the teacher’s own actions, as well as to the effectiveness of the educational and social inclusion process.