MA Counselling Psychology Thesis Defence

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MA Counselling Psychology Thesis Defence

"Youth as Mindfulness Trainers: Educator Views”

By: Jerlyn Chan
Co-Supervisor: Dr. Marvin McDonald Co-Supervisor: Dr. Rob Less
External Examiner: Christine Slavik, BA, M.Ed., CCLS, Associate Professor, University of the Fraser Valley
Exam Chair: Dr. Bart Begalka

Abstract:

This thesis project explored educators’ views of a mindfulness program that was delivered to elementary school students by high school students. This youth-led approach to delivering mental health literacy was evaluated, as part of a pilot project that intended to connect both older and younger students and pass-down mindfulness education.

The research method, the Enhanced Critical Incident Technique, was selected and involved conducting in-person interviews with each of the participants. The participants consisted of six educators, who offered diverse perspectives by their first-hand knowledge and experience of the program or familiarity with the program’s development. Participants included the elementary school and high school teachers, the elementary school principal and community agency staff.

The findings of this study clearly showed a consensus whereby educators viewed the program favourably and believed it to be valuable to their students and their larger community. The youth-led approach was shown to demonstrate the youth’s capacity to act as positive role models and to lead the mindfulness training. The feasibility of the program was supported with reference to key partnerships and its possible application to additional community settings. An enthusiasm and keen interest to continue and expand the program were also captured in the results.

The educators’ views of this program, the Youth-led Mindfulness Program (YLMP), were investigated to answer the following research question: What are educators’ views about what helps and hinders school-based mental health literacy programs that are delivered by youth as mindfulness trainers?”