A Framework for Culture Change in School Communities

Erika’s Lighthouse believes every school community can be inclusive, empathetic and supportive around mental health. Our framework for promoting inclusive school cultures around mental health provides a roadmap for schools to create lasting change in their school culture.

The Framework has five areas that schools can focus on to promote a positive school culture:

Fundamental Beliefs & Assumptions-We need all stakeholders to believe:

  1. Mental health is just as important as physical health
  2. Everyone deserves good mental health
  3. Good mental health is important to academic success
  4. Mental health is everyone’s responsibility

Shared Values- We need all stakeholders to share the values of:

  1. Empathy
  2. Collaboration
  3. Resilience
  4. Inclusion
  5. Empowerment

Establish Norms:

  1. All stakeholders should be educated on the language of being a trusted adult
  2. All stakeholders should know the signs and symptoms of adolescent depression and suicide
  3. Families should be involved in the conversation about youth mental health
  4. Schools should have up-to-date protocols

Positive Patterns & Behaviors:

  1. All stakeholders use shared vocabulary and have an understanding of mental health
  2. Educators communicate and collaborate to support students
  3. Students have the skills to seek help for themselves and others
  4. Students are empathetic and working to reduce stigma

Tangible Evidence:

  1. Focus on universal prevention, education and awareness
  2. Proactive messaging around mental health and help-seeking
  3. Empower students through peer-led clubs and stigma reduction
  4. Focus on school policy, professional development and staff self-care

If you are interested in learning more about our framework for culture change, Erika’s Lighthouse can help. Our “School Culture Framework” can help you take the first steps to creating an inclusive school culture around mental health.