What pupils and teachers from R.M. know about mental health

What pupils and teachers from R.M. know about mental health

About 60% of pupils from Balti and Falesti confuse mental health and mental disease, and about 35% of teachers cannot define terms related to mental health, according to the data of the study carried out by the Association SOMATO, together with Associations PARTENER GIDL and HELICOMED from Romania. Within the study "Assessment of the level of awareness of pupils from Balti municipality and Falesti district with the regards to mental health" there were interviewed 199 pupils from four educational institutions and 17 teachers from the same institutions. The research demonstrated that 5% of pupils from Balti and Falesti district cannot define "mental health", though 35% said they know what mental health is.
According to the study, mental health of adolescents from Balti is affected by their parents' departure for work abroad (53,19%); death of a friend (48,23%) and drug abuse (about 83%).

On the other hand, 55,1% of pupils from Falesti interviewed within this study said that in the case of mental health problems they would address parents; 53,4 % - psychologist; 43,1% - family medic; about 26% of pupils from Falesti would address teachers.

Overall, about 35,3 % of adolescents associate the notion of "mental health" with the such terms as "intellect" and "intelligence", and over 9% - with "depression", "stress" and "nervousness";  43,6% of adolescents also mentioned among notions "mentally sane person" and "moron".

The 17 interviewed teachers associate the concept of "mental health" with "mental wellbeing" and 50% also mentioned "emotional wellbeing". About 91% of teachers associate mental disorder with the notion of "inadequate behavior", 54,5% - with "deficiency and disability"; 45,4% of respondents also mentioned aggressiveness, stress and depression.

The study was carried out under the "Initiatives on cross border cooperation on mental health of adolescents from Romania-Moldova border area" (code MIS-ETC 947), funded by Joint Operational Programme Romania-Ukraine-Republic of Moldova 2007-2013. Evaluations were performed in secondary school №19 from Elizaveta, a suburb of Balti municipality, and Balti high school "George Coºbuc" and in two schools from Falesti district. The same study was also carried out in Romania and involved 249 pupils and 42 teachers from two educational institutions.

february 8, 2012