Date of Award

Spring 5-7-2022

Document Type

Oral Presentation/Poster


Health Science

Faculty Mentor

Moses Ikiugu


mental health, adolescent, cafeteria program, leisure program, occupational therapy

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy


Background. The number of children and adolescents with mental health disorders is continuing to rise. Children with and without disabilities may experience mental health challenges. Children spend a significant amount of time at school, and therefore, it is important to address mental health in this setting. Purpose. My capstone project aimed to promote children and adolescent’s mental health using universal and targeted strategies. Methods. Students in grades six through twelve had the opportunity to participate in a seven-week cafeteria program. Students in grades nine through twelve participated in a seven-week leisure program. I distributed videos and mental health resources to school personnel weekly. I tracked changes in mental health among students and knowledge of mental health promotion of staff using pre- and post-test assessments. Results. While the student population performed significantly higher at pretest and posttest than hypothesized, no significance was indicated from pretest to posttest scores in perceived mental health, support, or leisure. However, the staff population performed significantly higher at pretest and posttest and improvement in confidence and awareness was indicated from pretest to posttest. Conclusions. Findings support the importance of staff training on mental health, but more studies are needed to determine the effectiveness of theory- and occupation-based programs on promoting student mental health.



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