School-Wide Strategies for Supporting Students with School Phobia, Avoidance, and Chronic Absenteeism for Education and Mental Health Professionals

About the Course

School-Wide Strategies for Supporting Students with School Phobia, Avoidance, and Chronic Absenteeism for Education, and Mental Health Professionals

School phobia, avoidance, and absence are one of the most pressing issues in youth mental health and suicide prevention. 

With the YMHC School Phobia Training Course, you gain the knowledge and skills needed to support students who are struggling with chronic school absenteeism. Register now and become a part of the solution.

Drawing on a wide evidence base, the course provides participants with a range of school-wide strategies for positively impacting the lives, health, education, and future potential of students.

The trainer draws on her 20 years of experience working on school phobia issues, in addition to the coordination of Stay-in-School programs, plus years of experience as an educator with elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education students in Canada and Africa, and her membership and involvement in international organizations focused on youth mental health, suicide prevention, and school attendance.

About YMHC’s Course Trainer

The trainer is a passionate educator known for inspiring change with her engaging, inspiring style and practical ideas and strategies. As well as drawing on a wide evidence base, her presentations, workshops, and courses consolidate her background in education, mental health and wellness, human rights and equity, and disability awareness and support. 

The trainer started her teaching career as a Special Education teacher in Zimbabwe, Africa, where she lived for three years. She brings broad teaching knowledge from working with elementary, secondary, postsecondary, and adult education students in a variety of educational institutions and facilities. 

The trainer is the author of five mental wellness journal workbooks and a guidebook on supporting students, a member of the International Association of Youth Mental Health, International Network for School Attendance, International Association for Suicide Prevention, and other organizations focused on youth mental health, suicide prevention, and school attendance. 

YMHC has had the privilege of working with and learning from hundreds of schools, community organizations, professionals, and settings across Canada and around the world. 

What to Expect

  • Your needs and ideas are woven into a tailored presentation or workshop.

  • Increased reach and impact for your event via YMHC’s huge online reach of millions of followers

  • Guiding principles and new ways of thinking to inspire change.

  • Practical, high-impact ideas and strategies

  • An evidence-inspired presentation

  • Recommended resources to support your work.

Date and Time

January 24, 2024 to February 28, 2024

Wednesdays, 6 to 8 p.m. ET


  1.  Education Matters: Education, Mental Health, and Disability Issues

  2.  Understanding School Phobia, Avoidance, and Absence Issues

  3.  Emotional Regulation and School Phobia

  4.  Building Mental Wellness Protective Factors: Sources of Support

  5.  Building Sources of Strength and Resilience

  6.  School-Wide Strategies to Support Students


$750 per person includes relevant and meaningful assignment package, certificate of course completion, receipt, and photocopiable guidebook (licensed for your work location to make unlimited photocopies)

School Phobia Training Course Testimonials

"The most impactful component of the School Phobia Training Course was the connection the course made to suicide prevention. I valued this connection as it invoked thought into the short- and longer-term implications of school phobia. After taking this course, I will hold onto the connection between suicide prevention and school phobia. This will guide me in my work with students, families, and schools. I am grateful for having taken the School Phobia Training Course. Through this course, I was able to see the evident passion YMHC has for supporting students, families, and those working in the education system. At times it can be challenging to work in the system of education, but the passion displayed in this course ignited new flames of hope."

"Throughout the course, I was able to gain several new ideas for supporting students who experience school phobia. Beyond supporting students, I also appreciated an approach that encouraged a team approach to support students. Through this approach, I was able to identify how a student could be supported in a more successful way through the involvement of everyone in their system working together. I also appreciated that the strategies and recommendations were realistic to the school environment. Since beginning my work in schools, I have found a limited number of professional development opportunities that are specifically focused on supporting students in school. I appreciated that this opportunity provided several strategies and plans that were school-focused. While the course focused on school phobia, the material in the course could be used to support many students."

"I appreciated the trainer’s experience and passion for the topic. She provided relevant examples and many strategies that are readily usable for my practice. The Zoom sessions had a good variety of graphics to support children who struggle with school phobia. "

"One of the key insights from the training course I took with YMHC was the reminder that education is a right for all children and as a school administrator, I need to do my best to engage all my students in learning and keep them connected to school. "

"I found the information that was given in the training course to be very practical, useful, and informative. I feel like I left the course with way more knowledge to be able to make decisions and a difference in students’ lives and implement ideas that will have a greater impact."

"The concrete strategies that can be utilized to prevent school phobia, avoidance, and chronic absenteeism (creating a safe environment, peer support, co-regulation, and relationships at school) were key takeaways from the training course I took with YMHC."

"I thought that the course was very helpful for the line of work we do here in Edmonton with Indigenous students."

"I was dumbfounded at the lack of empathy I have had for parents with children who have school phobia. I just always remember thinking, “Be a parent, not a friend to your child”, when that is not the case. I liked the implosion chart where we can see the struggles early not waiting for the student to already be absent from school to start implementing a plan."

"I have a couple of students on my caseload who are struggling with school phobia, and I plan on using the guidebook to help them." 

"I learned that chronic school absenteeism due to mental health challenges and disabilities is a global issue. I realized how frustrating it is for advocates like YMHC to be working so hard to fight for these kids and have governments/ ministries/ boards/ schools continue to pay lip service to mental health and DO NOTHING. Thank you for the clarity in presenting all the facets of school phobia and the facts, with great use of evidence and data!"

"Because of the workshop I attended on school phobia, I am forever changed in my mindset. I am already speaking to my colleagues and school administration about changes in my department and school. I have reached out to professors at the Faculty of Education."

"The workshop I attended on supporting students with school phobia and chronic absenteeism changed the way I look at the issues now. It allowed me to look at key characteristics to explore and gave me a different perspective, which allowed me to think of how I would work with the families and explore school-induced anxiety in the future."

"I found the workshop I attended on school phobia so informative— the data and evidence, case studies, strategies, school response, and so much more. As a teacher, I was enlightened about ways that I can better support students in the future. As a parent, I felt reassured that I am not the only parent dealing with this issue. The lack of supports in school and thinking about what is next for my child and family were overwhelming and sad.… I cried so many times— both of relief that I was not alone and of anguish and heartbreak."


Please click the "Apply Now" button in green at the top of this page.

Course Pledge & Code of Conduct

Course Pledge

  • By submitting this application, I hereby confirm my intention to attend the School-Wide Strategies to Support Students with School Phobia, Avoidance, and Chronic School Absenteeism Training Course delivered by Youth Mental Health Canada. 

  • By submitting this application, I agree to these terms and commit to uphold them to the best of my ability.

Code of Conduct

  1. By submitting this application, I agree to the following requirements for the YMHC School Phobia Training Course: 

  2. I will be respectful to all participants and the course trainer, creating a welcoming, respectful, and supportive environment that is free from discrimination, harassment, or any other inappropriate behavior. 

  3. I will attend all online sessions on time and participate actively in class discussions and activities, using the camera and chat feature. I have the ability to attend all six sessions of the course. I understand that there are no make-up sessions for the course.

  4. Completion of all course requirements, including assignments, is necessary to obtain a certificate of completion.

  5. I am committed to learning and applying the knowledge and skills presented in the course to support young people who are struggling with school phobia. I understand that though I might have training or knowledge of some of the areas covered in the course, I am open to learning and growing my knowledge and skill base. 

  6. I will contribute to a positive and meaningful learning experience for everyone involved.

Cancellation Policy

A fee of $500 is charged for cancellations received 4 weeks or more in advance of the course date. A fee of $600 is charged for cancellations received less than 4 weeks in advance. If notice is received after the course date or the registrant does not show up for the course, no refund will be issued.

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