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For children and adolescents, the prevalence of psychological disorders associated with mental illness continues to rise in North America and is now considered to be the leading cause of disability for this population (Bitsko et al., 2022). It was estimated that between 25 and 50% of adult mental illnesses could be prevented through early intervention and preventative measures in childhood (Kim-Cohen et al., 2003). In an effort to address mental health promotion in schools, Dr. Susan Bazyk founded and created EMC, which is a “multi-pronged mental health promotion initiative to help all children to be mentally healthy in order to succeed in school, at home, and in the community” (Bazyk, 2023).The purpose of this capstone was two-fold. The first objective was to implement Refreshing Recess as part of the EMC initiative to promote immediate and life-long health and well-being in elementary school children. The second objective was to examine school stakeholders’ perceptions of EMC initiatives after implementation in a specific elementary school. The second objective of this capstone was done by conducting a phenomenological, qualitative research study analyzing survey responses from school stakeholders after implementation of the Refreshing Recess initiative.

Publication Date

Spring 4-10-2024


University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences


Adolescent, Child, Health promotion, Mental disorders, Qualitative research

Medical Subject Headings

Adolescent, Child, Health promotion, Mental disorders, Qualitative research


Occupational Therapy | Pediatrics | Psychiatric and Mental Health


Poster presented at the Virtual OTD Capstone Symposium, held online at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences on April 10-17, 2024.

Every Moment Counts (EMC): Understanding School Stakeholder Perceptions of Positive Mental Health Promotion in the Elementary School Setting. A Preliminary Report.