Assessing the effectiveness of a mental health literacy programme for refugee teachers in Malaysia

Kok, Wai Tay, Ong, Anna Wen Huey, Pheh, Kai Shuen, Low, Sew Kim, Tan, Chee Seng, and Low, Poi Kee (2019) Assessing the effectiveness of a mental health literacy programme for refugee teachers in Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Science, 26 (6). pp. 120-126.

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Background: Children and young refugees often experience negative events that affect their mental health. Their caregivers may also be in the same predicament, implying that the teachers in schools are a potential source of help and support. However, most teachers have little understanding of mental health and are, thus, clueless in helping their students. To address this need, a newly developed one-day mental health literacy programme was conducted among 68 refugee teachers in Malaysia.

Methods: Participants learned the symptoms of mental health issues among children and adolescents in the context of post-trauma, provision of early intervention, and channel for professional supports. They also answered a packet of measurements of mental health literacy before and after the programme.

Results: The paired sample t-test showed that participants reported higher willingness to contact with people having mental health problems (t = 2.787, P = 0.008, Cohen's d = 0.394), less stereotypes toward mental illness (t = 4.603, P < 0.001, d = 0.651) and a better understanding of self-help strategies (t = 2.16, P = .036, d = 0.322) than baseline.

Conclusion: The results of this study offered preliminary empirical evidence on the effectiveness of the programme as a promising channel for alleviating mental health issues among refugees.

Item ID: 65958
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 2180-4303
Copyright Information: © Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2019. This work is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) (
Funders: Lau Hoo Kee Research Fund LHKRF)
Projects and Grants: LHKRF vote no. 8031/001
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2021 00:05
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4203 Health services and systems > 420313 Mental health services @ 40%
44 HUMAN SOCIETY > 4403 Demography > 440303 Migration @ 40%
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390307 Teacher education and professional development of educators @ 20%
SEO Codes: 20 HEALTH > 2003 Provision of health and support services > 200305 Mental health services @ 40%
23 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 2303 International relations > 230302 International aid and development @ 30%
16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1603 Teaching and curriculum > 160303 Teacher and instructor development @ 30%
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