Education has become, rather unproblematically, a site for mental health management, with policies and implementation strategies that identify and support students’ mental health. Different forms of in-school mental health support have increased both in the Global North and South, with teachers being on the frontline when identifying students’ mental distress and recommending treatment pathways. Through an investigation of data produced in workshops provided for in-service teachers on migrant and refugee students’ mental health, we critically examine the emergence of psy-expertise in education in Finland and its interconnectedness with (neo)colonialism. We ask in what ways educational discourses of mental health are underpinned by colonial imaginaries and how these profoundly racialised imaginaries are maintained in in-school mental health support for migrant and refugee students. Our analysis shows that, regardless of good intentions, in-school mental health support maintains colonial imaginaries and can be, therefore, problematic and even harmful for students of colour. We also show how silence around racism can further racialise and pathologise students of colour when support, even for experiences of racism and Islamophobia, focuses on developing individual skills and competencies of resilience and self-esteem, instead of tackling racism in the school community. © 2023 selection and editorial matter, Julie McLeod, Kate O’Connor, Nicole Davis, and Amy McKernan; individual chapters, the contributors.

DOI: 10.4324/9781003021087-8

ISBN: 9781000888621, 9780367897772