The state of mental health among youth in the United States represents a public health challenge. In June 2014, Pennsylvania passed Act 71 requiring that schools provide suicide awareness and prevention education to students as part of their district policies. Unfortunately, few evidence-based programs designed for this purpose exist. This pilot study seeks to determine whether two student educational programs, Mind Matter and Aevidum, help increase middle and high school students’ knowledge of and attitudes about mental health, wellness, and suicide prevention, as well as strategies for healthy coping and help-seeking behaviors. Researchers used evaluation surveys for both Mind Matters and Aevidum to measure changes to use results for a future randomized controlled trial. The School district implemented both programs in two different schools in the Montgomery County area of Pennsylvania. This study ran during a volatile period in the school semester due to Covid-19 restrictions and unforeseen weather closures, resulting in a small sample size. There were no significant changes in knowledge, attitude, wellness, and suicide prevention, and the sample size was too small to conduct a complex data analysis. Still, the results provide information supporting the rationale for future control-group studies that incorporate a larger sample size.
Williamson, Rasheeda, "Mental Health Education Evaluation Pilot Study in Montgomery Area and Milton Area School Districts" (2021). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 370.