Project Spotlight: Table Éducation Outaouais

Simply Me – Simplement Moi

Promoting positive body image to reduce bullying among elementary students in the Outaouais region.

The goal of the Simplement Moi-Simply Me project is to implement an intervention program to promote a positive body image and reduce bullying among students aged 10 to 12 attending elementary schools in the Outaouais region. This program is inspired by the Very Important Kids (V.I.K.) program (Haines et al., 2006) which aims to reduce the prevalence of bullying and prevent the use of weight control behaviors. The program that we are implementing has the potential to curb the potentially potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lifestyle and mental health of elementary school youth as they transition to high school.

WHO

Students aged 10 to 12 attending elementary schools

WHAT

Objectives

  • Inspired by the Very Important Kids (V.I.K.) program (Haines et al., 2006), this program aims to reduce the prevalence of bullying and prevent the use of weight control behaviors.
  • Promote a positive body image and reduce bullying among elementary students.
  • Reduce the potential effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lifestyle and mental health of elementary school youth as they transition to high school

HOW

  • Adapting and translating the “Very Important Kids” (V.I.K.) program to current contexts, including taking into account the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on body image and mental health.
  • Train teachers and school personnel to support the implementation of the V.I.K. program in three schools in the Outaouais region.
  • Evaluate the effects of the V.I.K. program on positive body image and bullying prevention and share learnings

WHERE

Settings

  • School

Implementation sites

  • The project will take place in three elementary schools in the Outaouais region. Two of them will be francophone and the third is an anglophone school.

WHY

  • Children are affected by body image at school and at home and are often confronted with negative comments in these environments.
  • During the pandemic, a sudden change in daily routine meant that children were deprived of the favourable conditions for healthy life habits, including the management of anxiety and stress.
  • Increased screen time (especially usage of social media) during the pandemic increased the risk for children to be dissatisfied with their own body image.

Key protective factors

  • Self-esteem
  • Positive body image
  • School connectedness
  • Physical activity
  • Nutrition

Key approaches

  • School-based intervention
  • Arts-based