The American Psychological Association has relaunched a collaboration with Microsoft to hold a series of lessons that will bring psychologists into elementary and secondary school classrooms via Skype. APA’s “Let’s Talk about Mental Health” initiative is part of the Skype in the Classroom program, a platform used by educators to learn from each other through the online world.
APA also has made supplemental resources available to teachers who may be looking to use materials to prepare students for a Skype session or to expand on mental health education outside of the lesson.
Skype in the Classroom is a free educational program that aims to remove geographic and economic boundaries to education through the innovative use of technology in a classroom environment. The APA program allows students to interact with psychologists to learn about mental health issues and overcome any stigma they may associate with seeking mental health care. The APA program first began in 2014 and over 220 individual lessons were held during the initial year.
Approximately 20 APA members have volunteered as presenters for the program. The psychologists and teachers work together to schedule 50-minute presentations about anger and anxiety, depression, and resilience. During the scheduled lesson, the psychologist guest speaker presents to the classroom via Skype using materials provided by APA. Each lesson includes time for Q&A with students. All presenters are licensed psychologists and are experienced clinicians actively participating in programs to educate the public about mental health issues.
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