Preferred Name

Jacqueline Billy

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Educational Specialist (EdS)


Department of Graduate Psychology


Deborah Kipps-Vaughan

Tammy Gilligan

Ashton Trice


Mental health literacy is one’s knowledge of mental health conditions and their accompanying symptoms as well as their understanding of available treatments and mental health services. Virginia Bill SB953, signed into law in 2018, made mental health a mandated topic in health education for all ninth and tenth grade students. There are several Health Education Standards of Learning for Virginia Public Schools which are specifically aimed at increasing students’ mental health literacy. Many of the standards can be met through implementation of evidence-based curriculums focusing on mental health, known as mental health curriculums (MHC). MHC are designed to increase mental health literacy. The purpose of the present study was to explore high school principals and assistant principals’ perceptions and experiences with implementing MHC in their schools. The results will be used to inform school psychologists on current practices in regard to MHC, as well as provide information on how to collaborate with school principals to make implementation of MHC more realistic.

Keywords: mental health literacy, mental health curriculum, mental health education, adolescent mental health, psychoeducation in schools, school-based mental health, school mental health services



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