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Sharpen Mental Health Literacy (SMHL)

An evidence-based mental health literacy education program for college students and young adults

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In response to the mental health challenges facing young people, the U.S. Department of Education released an extensive resource outlining serious challenges facing school mental health support systems and corresponding recommendations (U.S. Department of Education, 2021), including:

(i)Prioritizing wellness for each and every child, student, educator, and provider

(ii) enhancing mental health literacy and reducing stigma and other barriers to access

(iii) implementing a continuum of evidence-based prevention practices

(iv) establishing an integrated framework of educational, social, emotional, and behavioral health support for all.

Sharpen meets all four of the mental and emotional wellness priorities outlined by the Department of Education and can be deployed through schools or via community service organizations. Through the unique peer resiliency model, we are able to engage adolescents deeply into conversations about mental health (Hussa-Farrell, 2023; Biber & Rothman, 2023)

The more than 75 peer-to-peer videos within the SMHL program include psychoeducational modules on topics such as:

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Based on nearly 20 years of leading mental health literacy training in schools, the content assembled into SMHL has been created utilizing the practices outlined by recent research (Semchuck et al, 2023) requiring assessment, deep community listening and robust engagement from stakeholders (Gruber et al, 2023)

Sharpen Mental Health Literacy (SMHL)
$90 (6-hour course)

This 6-hour evidence-based course provides an overview and framework for understanding mental health literacy, along with public health models that outline the importance of primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention. The course objectives and evidence base can be viewed here.

The 6-hour course enables participants to experience direct testimony about stigma and the many barriers that prevent individuals from discussing mental health topics.

All participants will receive a training certificate indicating the number of hours completed. For licensed clinicians who qualify, they will receive 6 hours of continuing education for this course, accredited through NBCC and the University of West Georgia. 

"Knowing that our students have access to a wealth of resources to support their mental health is reassuring, and also another important step we can take to reduce stigma around mental health in healthcare."

Natalie M. Fadel, PsyD
Associate Professor for Psychiatry and Neuro-Behavioral Sciences

"Sharpen allows counselors to offer mental health resources and coping skills to students who may not be seeking, or have not yet sought, in-person services.  Sharpen greatly increases our reach and breadth of service offerings"

Dr. Liz Jodoin
Former Director of Counseling Services
University of South Carolina, Upstate

"Sharpen includes a really cool comprehensive toolkit about stress, dietetics, and mental health, but also includes practical life skills that young adults need."

Adam Ranns
Former Assistant Athletic Director / Head Athletic Trainer, Limestone College

Demonstrated Value Through Focus Groups, Survey Data, and Real-World Results


recommended for others

95% of college students learned things they can use to help others and recommend Sharpen for friends and family members.


connected to resources they didn't know were available

90% of college students said Sharpen connected them to mental health resources they didn't know were available.


helpful, easy to use

100% of college students interviewed, provided input on the content library and found Sharpen helpful and easy to use.

Image by Hanna Skoromna

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