Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Sarah Fanning 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name Sarah Fanning and I am 22 years old. I am a 2024 graduate from the Applied Psychology course at IADT Dun Laoghaire, and specialized in the practice path side of the course. My interests are mental health in students in all levels of education, as well as art therapy. I am a volunteer at Remember Us social club in Balbriggan, County Dublin.

Project Description

I conducted my major research project using a secondary data set from the ISSDA in UCD, on teacher confidence in providing mental health support to students in secondary schools. With the use of this data set I conducted a quantitative design method. I chose this topic due to the impact Covid-19 had on the 2020 leaving certificate year both academically and mentally (Dwan-O'Reilly et al., 2023).

Project Objectives

The current study aimed to examine the effects teacher mental health knowledge and their school type (DEIS or Non-DEIS) had on their confidence to provide mental health support to students as well as their intention to provide support and perceived stigma of mental health in secondary school students. The data set used in the current study had 640 participants.

Project Outcomes

The scales used were the Teacher Confidence Scale for Delivering Mental Health Content by Linden and Stuart (2019), the Mental Health Knowledge Scale by Dooley et al. (2014), and The Reported and Intended Behaviour Scale by Evans-Lacko et al. (2011). Two two-way ANOVAs were conducted and the results showed a significant effect on teachers’ confidence to provide MH support based on their MH knowledge. However, no significant results were proposed for the effects of MH knowledge and school type on teachers’ intended behaviour to provide support.

Thesis Title

The relationship between teachers’ mental health knowledge, their school type, their confidence to provide mental health support, and their intention to provide mental health support to students in post-primary schools in Ireland.