Learning wellness in a new language : exploring views of ESL teachers about refugee mental health
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The purpose this research is to explore the potential role that English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers of refugees can play in promoting and supporting their students’ mental health by incorporating a mental health component into their existing curricula. Ten educators were interviewed to discover how ESL teachers of refugees experience and understand refugee mental health and their potential role in it. Data was analyzed using interpretive phenomenological analysis. The analysis yielded the following major themes: Implicit and Explicit Aspects of Teaching Refugees, Relationship with Students, Witnessing and Addressing Mental Health Concerns, Role of ESL in Mental Health, and Pathways to Healing. Results indicated that educators generally see themselves as willing and well-positioned to promote and support refugees’ mental health, but that current structures and systems in ESL education may have a limiting effect on their abilities to do so formally.