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Our Study

Supporting mental health after two years of pandemic

Good mental health during childhood paves the way for good physical and mental health throughout life! However, since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially as it persists, the mental health of young people in Quebec has deteriorated.

Open-Sky School, an intervention by nature, at school, aims to mitigate the consequences of two years of the COVID-19 pandemic on children’s mental health.

In nature and at school

Experimental studies around the world, including those led by our team, show that contact with nature (e.g., walking in an urban park or forest) is beneficial for mental health.

Interest in nature is increasing in school settings. More and more teachers in Quebec practice outdoor education and observe positive effects on student motivation.

To our knowledge, the effectiveness of an intervention by nature, in school, has never been tested using a randomized control design.

2 hours per week in nature

54 Grade 5 and 6 classes across Quebec were invited to participate in our randomized control trial, where 26 classes spent a total of 24 hours in nature for 2 hours per week for 12 weeks in nature, and 28 classes followed learning as usual. This group will have the opportunity to participate in the 12-week program in the fall.

Access to a bank of educational activities for academic purposes and well-being

We offer free access to a bank of 30 activities for teachers and 10 activities for youth, all based on nature. They were developed by two researchers on our team (Jean-Philippe Ayotte Beaudet in education and Catherine Malboeuf-Hurturbise in positive psychology) or taken from the book L’école à Ciel Ouvert (200 outdoor activities to teach).

Activities include mindfulness, philosophy, art therapy, science, mathematics and language arts.

Access to online training

We offer short training capsules on philosophy, art, and mindfulness activities to support teachers in the implementation of these sometimes less common activities in the school environment.

And if Open-Sky School proven to be effective?