Measurement and Design in Surveys of Teachers‘ Mental Health Literacy: A Scoping Review


  • Chris Gilham Faculty of Education, St. Francis Xavier University
  • Taylor G Hill Dalhousie Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience
  • Emma C Coughlan Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, Dalhousie University
  • Damian Page Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto
  • Chloe Vukosa St. Francis Xavier University
  • Alyssa Spridgeon St. Francis Xavier University
  • Peter Wilkie St. Francis Xavier University
  • Kristie Przewieda St. Francis Xavier University



mental health literacy, education, pre-service teachers, teachers, psychoeducation


Mental health literacy (MHL) was introduced four decades ago as a term referring to knowledge and beliefs about mental disorders that aid in their recognition, management, or prevention. This scoping review mapped the peer-reviewed literature to understand how MHL is defined, conceptualized, and measured in studies involving those becoming teachers (pre-service teachers) and working teachers (in-service teachers). The search was performed following the method for scoping reviews by the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI). Searches were conducted in four scientific databases with no time limit, although all sources had to be written in English or French. Primary studies (N = 35) that measured MHL for pre- and in-service teachers provided a global snapshot of MHL conceptualization and measurement across five continents. Global conceptualizations of MHL were largely driven by the definition and measures developed by Jorm, though the definition by Kutcher et al. was used in one fourth of the papers. Few studies explicitly stated a theoretical framework. Most studies used closed-ended scales, or a combination of closed-ended scales and vignettes to measure MHL. From a closer examination of the results, Canada emerged as a major leader in teacher MHL. Future research in this area should aim to include vignette measures, especially for pre-service teachers, and explicit theoretical frameworks, including socio-ecological and social or structural determinants of health-related frameworks that take an intersectional approach to MHL.

Author Biography

Taylor G Hill, Dalhousie Dept of Psychology & Neuroscience

PhD student in Experimental Psychology


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