InterCAMHS :: About Us

InterCAMHS :: About Us


Intercamhs’ vision is that mental health will be addressed through collaborative interdisciplinary whole school approaches for all school community members across nations.

Our Guiding Principles are that:

  • The term ‘mental health’ should imply not only the consideration of mental illnesses and problems but also a positive state of emotional, social and cognitive well being in individuals, groups and communities.
  • Mental health is viewed from a holistic perspective, recognising the interconnectedness of the physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological, as well as the social environment of school, family and community.
  • In the school context, a coordinated ‘whole school approach’ to mental health teaching and learning is needed, linking curriculum to school culture and ethos, management and organisation and to partnerships with communities, service providers and families.
  • Respect and sensitivity to cultural diversity and different skills and values, needs and experiences underpin collaborative activities across school communities, local communities and nation states.
  • Work in mental health needs to: fully involve all participants in the process, including school staff, school students and parents; encourage genuine dialogue between parties; and foster a sense of empowerment and autonomy.
  • Addressing mental health through schools in a comprehensive way involves a full range of levels of intervention, from mental health promotion for everyone, to targeted prevention and early intervention.
  • Effective school mental health interventions involve interdisciplinary practice necessitating co-ordination between a wide range of agencies, both government and not for profit, where different perspectives, approaches and goals are respected.
  • Positive mental health supports school quality and effectiveness, including promotion of meaningful learning and teaching by students and staff.
  • As far as possible practice needs to build on ‘evidence based’ approaches, which involve appropriate use of a range of methods from both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms.

Intercamhs aims to:

  • Develop and adopt a common language of terms related to mental health in schools.
  • Build communication mechanisms between people interested or involved in school-based mental health in different countries.
  • Encourage dialogue, the sharing of lessons learned, collaborative activities and mutual support among people and programs in different countries.
  • Enhance interdisciplinary approaches to school-based health care.
  • Promote the advancement of a strategic research agenda and collaborative research among people and programs in different countries.
  • Foster the development of advocacy agendas, coalitions and policy improvements in areas vital to the advancement of mental health in schools.
  • Raise awareness of the mental health needs of youth and the value of school-based programs in helping youth, schools and communities achieve desired outcomes.
  • Stimulate increased funding and improved capacity to provide a full continuum of mental health promotion, early intervention and treatment services in schools.

InterCAMHS :: About Us

InterCAMHS :: About Us

Introduction to Intercamhs

What is it?

Intercamhs is an international network of agencies and individuals who believe that addressing mental health issues in schools is vitally important to the wellbeing of school community members.

What is its Vision?

Intercamhs’ vision is that mental health will be addressed through collaborative interdisciplinary whole school approaches for all school community members across nations.

What does it do?

Intercamhs brings together experience and expertise from all over the world with the aim of enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people.

It promotes the international exchange of ideas and experience and acts as a meeting place for a wide range of educationalists, mental health experts and other professionals interested in mental health.

Intercamhs aims to raise awareness of the mental health needs of children and young people and the ways in which service providers can meet their needs. It also aims to support parents and teachers in their actions to strengthen the health and well being of those in their care.

Does it focus on a particular aspect of mental health?

No. Intercamhs believes that mental health promotion, early intervention and treatment are all important. It works to strengthen these activities for all children of school age.

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InterCAMHS :: Events

InterCAMHS :: Events

International Meeting Report

Forty three delegates from around the world gathered in Portland, Oregon, in October for Intercamhs’ first international meeting. The discussions served to highlight many of the most pressing issues in child and adolescent mental health worldwide.

Members’ presentations about their work covered a wide range of services and programmes – from a study of over-indulged children in Canada, to a mental health promotion programme for teenagers in New Zealand; from a mental health awareness campaign in Iceland, to concern about the mental health of schoolteachers in Germany. Click here to read a summary of all the presentations.

Seated from left: Michael Murray, Mark Weist – Board Liaison Officer, Louise Rowling – President, and Dóra Guðrun Guðmundsdóttir – Secretary

Standing from left: Elizabeth Moore – Project Associate, Pauline Dickinson, Mary Byrne, Leyla Ismayilova, Cheryl Vince Whitman, Peter Paulus, Chris Bale and Katherine Weare

Two of the key points to emerge from the meeting were the need for common language and key terms in mental health and the need for better exchange of information and more collaboration. These are two of the challenges that Intercamhs will tackle in 2004.

A full report of the meeting is being prepared and will be online soon.

The first Board meeting was also held in Portland, with 14 of the 16 members present. Again, a summary of the main decisions is being prepared and will be available shortly.

The Portland meeting was organized by the Center for School Mental Health Assistance (CSMHA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for both the International Meeting and the Board meeting was generously provided by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)

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