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New diploma in Chile addresses mental health of leaders and educators

With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to disrupt education in Chile, the mental health of leaders and educators is now in the spotlight. 

Through the BHP Foundation’s Digital Education Network in Chile, and with the support of the Minera Escondida Foundation, programs are being developed to address the mental health impacts of teachers and families.

As part of the network, Adolfo Ibáñez University’s School of Psychology has released its first initiative, a Diploma of Communal Agent Formation.

The diploma targets social leaders and educators (communal agents) and will initially be offered in the Antofagasta region located in Chile’s north.  The aim is to provide a technical and methodological framework for developing strategies to address the impacts of the pandemic, especially in vulnerable communities.  

The diploma includes psychological first-aid workshops and monitoring systems to help prevent parental burnout.  Participants will be able to detect cases that need the support of the national health system and help strengthen the role of care givers in protecting the socio-emotional development of students. 

Alejandra Garcés, Program Director of the BHP Foundation Chile Program, says providing socio-emotional support for students, educators and community leaders was important, especially given the adverse psychological conditions caused by government-imposed lockdowns and the suspension of in-person classes.

‘Although the Digital Education Network primarily addresses the continuity of learning and supports teachers and educators, we knew it was important to address and develop socio-emotional skills, include gender perspective and contribute to the development of students as part of their formative process,’ she says.

Read more about BHP Foundation’s support of Chile’s Digital Education Network.