2009 International Principals Survey – ICP and Intercamhs

Strengthening the Canada-United States Partnership to Advance School Mental Health

November 5, 2009

Minneapolis, Minnesota

imageRead the full workshop report

(click on the speaker’s name, if highlighted, to download their presentation slides)


Topic / Issue

Speakers / Facilitators

8:30 – 9:00


9:00 – 9:30


Welcome from Intercamhs and introduction to the goals/objectives of the workshop

Cheryl Vince Whitman (U.S.) – 10 min

President, Intercamhs

Senior Vice President, EDC

Director, EDC’s Health and Human Development Division

Director, WHO Collaborating Center

Gloria Wells (Canada) – 10 min

Vice President, Intercamhs

Co-chair, Canadian School Mental Health Community of Practice

Director, Collaborative Initiatives Branch, Rocky View Schools Learning Department

9:30 – 10:30

Working toward a shared framework

An introduction to why a shared framework is important for cross-sector collaboration, some of the elements and language that it might include, and developments in the US and Canada to develop such a framework

Cheryl Vince Whitman (U.S.) – 10 min

President, Intercamhs

Senior Vice President, EDC

Director, EDC’s Health and Human Development Division

Director, WHO Collaborating Center

Janice Popp (Canada) – 10 min

Senior Policy and Research Officer, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Click here to download the handout on “The Role of Networks.”

Neal Walker (U.S.) – 10 min

Branch Chief of Mental Health Promotion, Division of Prevention, Traumatic Stress and Special Programs, Center for Mental Health Services at SAMHSA

Sarah Allen (U.S.) – 10 min

Federal Program Officer, Office of Safe and Drug-Free Schools, Department of Education

10:30 – 11:30

Highlights of evidence and research for school-based mental health

Overviews of the evidence supporting the critical role of mental health on students, as well as the broader research landscapes in the United States and Canada and prospects for collaboration

Kathy Short (Canada) – 10 min

Clinical Child Psychologist, Evidence-Based Education & Services Team, Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

Stan Kutcher (Canada) – 10 min

Chairholder, Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health, IWK Health Centre, Dalhousie University

Mark Weist (U.S.) – 10 min

Professor and Director, Center for School Mental Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine

Sandy Keenan (U.S.) – 10 min

Principal Research Analyst, American Institutes for Research

11:30 – 12:45

Highlights of current activities and plans: US & Canada

Round-table discussion with brief introductions by all regarding recent projects that present opportunities for international collaboration around school mental health in the areas of research, practice, policy, and training

Janice Popp (Canada)

Senior Policy and Research Officer, Mental Health Commission of Canada

Joyce Sebian (U.S.)

Senior Policy Associate, National TA Center for Children’s Mental Health, Georgetown University

12:45 – 1:45

Working Lunch

Small-group discussions building on the opportunities presented in the previous session to help to define, more clearly, future directions in the four main areas of work (research, practice, policy, and training)


Informed by the previous session and the survey results, small group discussions will focus on the following question:

“What ideas do you have for US/Canada activities to further collaboration in the areas of research, practice, policy, and training? Any mechanisms for doing so?”

Co-facilitators, from the US and Canada, with expertise in different areas (research, practice, policy, and training) will sit at each of the four tables.

1:45 – 2:00


2:00 – 3:15

Strengthening the US-Canadian partnership: planning next steps

Open-ended group discussion, focused on planning next steps, as well as specific collaborative projects to be pursued

Gloria Wells (Canada)

Vice President, Intercamhs

Co-chair, Canadian School Mental Health Community of Practice

Director, Collaborative Initiatives Branch, Rocky View Schools Learning Department

Mark Weist (U.S.)

Professor and Director, Center for School Mental Health, University of Maryland School of Medicine

3:15 – 3:30


Gloria Wells (Canada) – 7 min

Vice President, Intercamhs

Co-chair, Canadian School Mental Health Community of Practice

Director, Collaborative Initiatives Branch, Rocky View Schools Learning Department

Cheryl Vince Whitman (U.S.) – 7 min

President, Intercamhs

Senior Vice President, EDC

Director, EDC’s Health and Human Development Division

Director, WHO Collaborating Center


Mind Your Head — September 8, 2008 (Melbourne, Australia)

International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools
Mind Your Head

September 8, 2008
Melbourne, Australia

For a copy of the meeting report please click here

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2009 International Principals Survey – ICP and Intercamhs

International Survey of Principals Concerning Emotional and Mental Health and Well-Being

Mental Health and Well-Being in Schools: What Principals Think

School principals worldwide agree about the importance of promoting the mental and emotional health of their students and staff. Over 1,100 principals from 25 countries completed the International Survey of Principals Concerning Emotional and Mental Health and Well-Being developed by the International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools (Intercamhs) in partnership with the International Confederation of Principals (ICP). HHD is the Secretariat for Intercamhs and carried out the design, administration, and analysis of the survey which asks principals what emotional and mental health issues they see among their students and staff, and what education and training they need to respond more effectively.

According to the survey results, over 80% of principals report student emotional and mental health and well-being as “very important” to a child’s academic performance. On average, principals estimate that one in five of students requires treatment or other mental health services, a figure similar to global data.

Most children spend much of their day in a school setting, yet the psycho-social environment of many schools and the opportunities for young people to learn skills to cope with social and emotional challenges need improvement. With higher quality resources and training, school staff can also recognize student problems early on so that youth and their families are able to obtain the necessary services to reduce or prevent disorders from becoming worse.

“I am pleased to see that emotional intelligence is now being taken seriously,” expresses a principal from England who also recognizes how this benefits the community as a whole.

When asked to identify the leading mental health concerns among their school’s students, principals pointed to anxiety, depression, bullying and harassment, and anger and impulse control.  Many respondents also agreed with the view of a Canadian principal that “family dysfunctions of many kinds are often the prime factor in the resulting mental health issues of the children.”  Among staff, principals stated that stress was a chief concern, due in part to the overwhelming needs of their students, academic demands and societal changes.

The survey also revealed many continuing and cross-country challenges with existing systems and institutional support.  As one Scottish principal remarked, “We have children suffering from extreme anxiety disorders having to wait 6 weeks for an assessment or diagnosis, followed by limited follow up support.”

Principals, regardless of their level of experience, emphasized the need for training and other resources to create school environments that are more conducive to mental and emotional well-being and to identify students who might benefit from services. This points to the need for a public health approach that encourages broad mental health promotion schoolwide, not just services for students with acute problems.  As another respondent explained, “We can’t do our best job of educating students if we are always rushing to put out fire.”

Based on these findings, Intercamhs and the International Confederation of Principals are planning more professional exchange around mental health promotion in schools, and will also create new tools and web-based learning opportunities to support educators.  The survey will be extended to other countries in the months ahead.

“This is a seminal piece of work,” says Cheryl Vince Whitman, HHD’s Director and Vice President of Intercamhs. “Our partnership with ICP to carry out this work has made it possible to gain a broad global perspective. It is clear that principals want extensive training on how to effectively make their schools positive places for social and emotional learning, as well as places where it is safe and okay for problems to be recognized and addressed.”

For more information, please contact Matthew Biewener at [email protected]. Intercamhs is an international network of agencies and individuals who believe that addressing emotional and mental well-being in schools is vitally important to all who spend time there.

January 5, 2009



International Meeting Report

Auckland, New Zealand – September 2004


The second Intercamhs International Meeting, held in Auckland, New Zealand, in September, included presentations on different aspects of mental health and schools

The opening presentation was given by Dr Paul Brounstein from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which generously provided the seed money to launch Intercamhs and made this meeting possible. He spoke of the key role of schools in promoting and protecting the mental health of a community. Although his remarks were set in a US context, his message was internationally relevant. Here is a summary:

Transforming the Mental Health System in America: Schools are Integral

Paul J. Brounstein, Ph.D. Senior Public Health Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, USA

The final report of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America, has made clear that the current Mental Health System “is broken.” The report asserts: “To achieve the promise of community living for everyone, new service delivery patterns and incentives must ensure that every American has easy and continuous access to the most current treatments and best support services. In a transformed system, consumers and family members will have access to timely and accurate information that promotes learning, self-monitoring, and accountability. Health care providers will rely on up-to-date knowledge to provide optimum care for the best outcomes.” This simple statement, if followed by action, will require that Federal, State, and local institutions providing relevant services rethink mental illness as affecting (and affected by) individuals living within family systems, existing within community systems, which in turn are nested within policy and funding systems at the state and Federal level.

Schools and faith-based institutions once played a central role in the life of communities across America. These social hubs provided time and place for sharing and reinforcing social values, providing sometimes formal, sometimes informal screening activities for health and well-being, and served as a source of referral and assistance for individuals or families in need. However, changing demographics; mobility; technology-inspired isolation; vagaries in the public budget; and the rising cost of living that requires caretakers to work more hours at more jobs have all led to a decrease in the role that social institutions play in helping to ensure individual, familial and community physical and mental well-being.

To succeed, transformation efforts must take advantage of schools being a nexus point for children and parents/caretakers. Schools need to be re-engaged, through workforce development and by their embracing and acting on the knowledge that physical and mental health are required for improving school morale/climate, safety/security and academic achievement. As part of the transformation effort, states will be encouraged to ensure schools broaden their efforts and abilities to effect screening, early intervention and referral as appropriate, and build into their institutions a lasting knowledge that academic achievement, as the primary goal of the educational system, cannot itself be achieved if individuals and families do not receive the assistance they may need regarding their mental health. Schools again need to take up the mantle of a caring and involved community hub.

More information:[email protected]

Here are brief summaries of the other six presentations, together with details of where to find further information about them.

Partnerships for Sustainability

Prof Louise Rowling, President, Intercamhs

A mantra for action in the health field is: Think globally, Act locally. For Intercamhs, a reversal of this statement, Think locally, Act globally, exemplifies our work. We come from diverse countries and perspectives. We have our own local knowledge, but endeavour to pool that knowledge and share and synthesize it for global action. This necessitates partnerships.

There already exist partnerships between sectors such as justice, health and education. These have developed due to knowledge of the common influencing factors for crime, drug use and low academic achievement. Mental health professionals acting alone will not enhance learning or strengthen schools. There needs to be some sense of working for the sustainability of school based mental health. Sustainability must be considered at the beginning of action with schools. At the heart of sustainability is building the capacity and confidence of stakeholders, utilising their different strengths and priorities and celebrating the diversity of perspectives, not trying to implement a standard project. Five elements for partnerships are: shared vision; leadership; resources; time; and organisational development.

Intercamhs is developing a structure so that our combined voices – including those from less resourced countries – can influence political agendas.

More information: [email protected]

Overview of Deployment Family Support to the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division

Dr Michael Faran, Tripler Army Medical Centre, Hawaii, USA

The 25th Infantry Division, which is based in Hawaii, has deployed for a projected 13-month tour in two waves involving over 10,000 soldiers: the first half left in January to Iraq and the second half left in March/April to Afghanistan. Approximately 25,000 family members, including about 800 pregnant mothers remained behind, most of whom have stayed within the state. Military children and their families face several unique challenges in Hawaii: they are isolated by several thousand miles from relatives, live in a culturally divergent community, and face a very high cost of living. A multidisciplinary system coordinating various agencies was developed to provide a wide range of support to children and adults and is unique to the Army. This presentation provided an overview of ongoing efforts to care for military families during the deployments. It included brief descriptions of the school based mental health program, support to the Family Readiness Groups, the extensive outreach of Army Community Services and the coordinated behavioral health support at Tripler.

More information: [email protected]

East meets West – promoting the mental health of all children

Chris Bale, Director, Partnership for Children, UK

Zippy’s Friends is a whole-class mental health promotion programme which focuses on teaching coping skills to six and seven year olds. It is running in schools and kindergartens in six countries and more than 20,000 children have taken part. Evaluation results are strong and further major expansion is expected in 2005.

The experience of launching the programme on three continents may be useful in the development of other international programmes. Among the lessons learned are:

  • · Cultural adaptation is much less of an issue with young children than it might be with teenagers.
  • · All over the world, there is huge pressure on the school curriculum, even for very young children.
  • · Delivery structures and funding sources vary enormously from country to country.
  • · If we want to make progress in promoting the mental health of children around the world, we must look at low cost models.
  • Zippy’s Friends is beginning to show that it is possible to develop truly international, cross-cultural programmes that produce real benefits for children. Initially, it’s an expensive exercise, but in the long-term it makes good resources available to countries and schools that would never be able to develop them alone.

More information:

Digital Learning: Interactive Multimedia and Mental Health Literacy

Reg Davis, Senior Clinical Psychologist/School-Link Coordinator, Central Coast Health, NSW Australia

Mental health promotion in schools is a challenge – how to communicate accurate up-to-date information, how to raise issues that challenge beliefs and attitudes, and how to engage young peoples’ interest in issues relating to emotional wellbeing. It involves developing an emotional literacy that allows self understanding and an ability to relate to others which enhances social connection and relatedness.

Interactive multimedia is increasingly being used to promote mental health because it enables young people to use skills acquired through computer gaming, including spatial recognition, multi-tasking, enhanced attention capacity, and the ability to rehearse decision making and problem solving in low-threat virtual environments. It is visually engaging, action oriented, self-paced and able to be repeated again and again. It also matches the social culture of youth with its focus on intensive multimedia experiences, and engages young peoples’ imagination and creativity.

Multimedia games have been used in education around physical illnesses, such as diabetes and asthma. They are increasingly relevant for mental health – around specific issues like reducing stigma, as clinical tools for treating depression, and to promote resilience with students in transition from primary to middle school.

More information:

Cultural Diversity Training for Mental Health Staff

Jenni Jennings and Ben Anderson, Youth and Family Services, Dallas Public Schools, Texas, USA

Jenni Jennings and Ben Anderson presented a 20-minute session on their cognitive contextual model of group work. The focus of the session was one of the ten sessions in the series. The session was interactive with the conference attendees, who participated in a Peer Pressure activity that involved a multi-sensory approach to enhance learning. Jenni and Ben discussed their cognitive contextual model that includes:

  • · Orientation to the present and future
  • · Emphasis on fun, play and laughter as learning/healing tools
  • · Offering structure as a viable solution
  • · Offering clear and direct guidance.
  • Feedback was positive, and two groups from Australia and one group from Ireland were interested in learning more about the work at future conferences.

More information: [email protected]

Providing Mental Health for Traumatized Former Child Slaves, Prostitutes and Soldiers

Patrick Schoof, Executive Director, Youth Advocate Program International

The presentation began with an introduction to the State of the World’s Exploited Children (the worst forms of child labor, including hazardous labor and enslavement, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and the use of children in conflict) to assist attendees in understanding that these atrocities are common worldwide, and are growing numerically and geographically.

Attendees were then informed that the children who escape these atrocities, by whatever means, rarely have services available to them (transitional homes, counseling, trauma and rehabilitation services, and reintegration facilities and programs). As a result, many of these children have a difficult time adjusting to their previous lives, their families and their communities, and often grow up to become traumatized adults.

Hence, the presenter introduced the idea of developing a partnership between the mental health community and non-governmental organizations. The partnership would be to design strategies and plans to better aid these children, and then write international program grants that would be better designed and more likely to receive funding than a single-sector approach.

More information:



International Meeting Report
Portland, Oregon – October 2003

Forty three delegates from around the world gathered in Portland, Oregon, in October for Intercamhs’ first international meeting. The discussions served to highlight many of the most pressing issues in child and adolescent mental health worldwide.

Members’ presentations about their work covered a wide range of services and programmes – from a study of over-indulged children in Canada, to a mental health promotion programme for teenagers in New Zealand; from a mental health awareness campaign in Iceland, to concern about the mental health of schoolteachers in Germany. Click here to read a summary of all the presentations.

intercamhs.membersSeated from left: Michael Murray, Mark Weist – Board Liaison Officer, Louise Rowling – President, and Dóra Guðrun Guðmundsdóttir – Secretary

Standing from left: Elizabeth Moore – Project Associate, Pauline Dickinson, Mary Byrne, Leyla Ismayilova, Cheryl Vince Whitman, Peter Paulus, Chris Bale and Katherine Weare

Two of the key points to emerge from the meeting were the need for common language and key terms in mental health and the need for better exchange of information and more collaboration.

The Portland meeting was organized by the Center for School Mental Health Assistance (CSMHA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for both the International Meeting and the Board meeting was generously provided by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)




InterCAMHS :: Membership Directory

Directory of Members

Here is a directory of Intercamhs’ members, sorted alphabetically by first names and countries of residence.


Abbie Patterson, Alison Goffin, Angela Davis, Ann Dadich, Ann Wignall, Ana Tonkin, Anna Zigterman, Anne Barrey, Anthony Critchley, Astrid Gates

Bernie Marshall, Bronwyn Morris, Bryan Simm

Carol Cayley, Charles Meekings, Cheryle Gatto, Chris Wigg, Clare Franklyn

Deanne Olsen, Debbi Cameron, Debra Parks, Dermot Casey, Di O’Malley

Garry Sloane, Grace Wilson, Grania McCudden, Gregory Phillips

Helen Stallman, Helen Broomhall

Ian McKenzi

Jacqueline Van Velsen, Jason Cheers, Jen Allen, Jeremy Hurley, John Daly, John Dillon, John Mullane, Judith Scott, Julie Edwards

Katrina-Jae Stair, Kerry Jarvis, Kim Lavin

Leanne Hancock, Leanne Parrott, Leanne Pethick, Lesley Hills, Lisa English, Liz Hammond, Louise Rowling

Malcolm Lewis, Marc Zweieger, Margaret Cook, Maria Marriner, Marion Shields, Michelle Azizi, Michelle Trudgen

Nancy Cronin

Paola Mason, Pat Saunders, Peta Matthewman, Peter Chown, Peter Law, Philip Armstrong, Philip Gosschalk, Philip Robinson

Rita Feros, Rob Law, Robert McAlpine

Sarah Dwyer, Sean Slade, Sue Bradshaw, Sue Clark, Sue Cooke, Sue Wilson

Tania Rotili, Tim Corcoran, Tracy Zilm


Leyla Ismayilova


M. Shamsul Hazue Chowdhury


Octovia M.C. Vargens


Annie Gringas

Brian Mishara

Gloria Benard

Jean-Pierre Valla

Margaret Clarke, Masood Zangeneh

Russell Balance

El Salvador

Raul Duran


Anne Konu


Michael Frese

Peter Paulus


Dora Gudrun Gudmundsdottir


John Lahif

Mary Byrne

Olive McGovern


Elvira Nistreanu


Marion Rikken

MN. Clemens Hosman

Veroon Vermeer

New Zealand

Alison Taylor

Bice Awan

Jenny Munro

Liz Price

Mary Strang, Matiu TeHuki, Max Abbott

Nicky Harrall

Pauline Dickinson

Sarah Lee TeHuki

Rosemary Lines, Richard Egan, Rebekah Duthie

Tekani Kingi


Anita Rathore

Elin Jenny Sunde, Ellen Andriig


Teresita G. Garcia


Krysatof Ostaszewski


Catalina Gherman


Ekaterina Burmistrova

Natalia Fedunina

Trinidad and Tobago

Marilyn Atherley

United Kingdom

Chris Bale, Christian Dunn

Gregor Henderson

Janice Omar

Katherine Weare

Michael Murray

Pam Sanchez, Paula Errington, Peter Farrell

Rachel Parker

Sharon Leighton

United States

Angel Roca, Anne Marie Glodich, Anne Mathews-Younes, Annette Johnson, Argin Hutchins

Bill Brook

Carl Walker, Celene Domitrovich, Cherlee Sherry, Cheryl Vince Whitman

David Pruitt, Debbie Nahom, Deborah McLean, Denise Kaercher, Diane Allenworth, Diane Oglesby

Elizabeth Mullett, Elizabeth Sykes, Elizabeth Moore, Elizabeth Valdez, Ellie Turner, Evelyn Tomaszewski

Fran Bardino

Gail Ritchie, George Thompson, Greg Greicius

Haydee Montenegro, Heather Ringeisen, Howard Adelman

Isadora Hare

James Koller, Jeff Anderson, Jenni Jennings, Jennifer Axelrod, Joanne Cashman ,John Zdencanovic

Kay Rietz

Lester Hunter, Linda Taylor, Louise Peloquin

Mark Burdick, Mark Weist, Maureen Black, Michael Faran, Michele Edwards

Nancy Lever

Pamela Cantor, Peg Dawson, Peter Whelley

Robert Schmidt, Rose Starr

Shane Jimerson, Shelagh Smith, Susanne Wichert, Sylvia Huntley

Tanya Bryant

Vicki Nishioka


Truong Trong Hoang

If you would like your name to be added to the directory, click here to find out how to become an Intercamhs member.

If you name is listed incorrectly, please let us know by clicking here

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