General Information

Research and Data

Planning Tools


General Information

Mental Health: Strengthening Mental Health Promotion
(WHO, 2001) The World Health Organization offers definitions of “mental health”, elements of strong mental health promotion policies and programs, and related WHO initiatives.

Research and Data

Curricula to Promote Mental Health in Schools

School-Based Mental Health, An Empirical Guide for Decision-Makers (Kutash, K., Duchnowski, A. and Lynn, N., 2006)
The aim of this monograph is to contribute to the dialogue that addresses barriers preventing school-based mental health services from meeting the hoped for potential to improve service effectiveness and capacity. It briefly reviews the history of mental health services supplied in schools, summarizes the major conceptual models that currently influence the implementation of services, and provides an overview of the evidence-base for school-based interventions. The monograph also reviews federal policies and funding strategies that affect the implementation of services. It closes with specific recommendations for increased accountability and the use of evidence-based practices in the field through the adoption of the pubic health model for implementing effective school-based mental health services.

The Resilient Families Program (Shortt, A., Toumbourou, J., Chapman, R. and Power, E., 2006)
Resilient Families is a school-based prevention program designed to help students and parents develop knowledge, skills and support networks to promote health and wellbeing during the early years of secondary school. The program is designed to build within-family connectedness (parent–adolescent communication, conflict resolution) as well as improve social support between different families, and between families and schools. It is expected to promote social, emotional and academic competence and to prevent health and social problems in youth.

Developing an International Mental Health Promotion Programme for Young Children (Bale, C. and Mishara, B., 2004)
Several researchers have insisted upon the importance of training young children in order to prevent adaptation problems later in life. Yet most mental health promotion programmes are aimed at adolescents and older children, even though children of that age have already learned their basic patterns of coping and social behaviour. Zippy’s friends is a school-based programme for six and seven year olds. It has been developed specifically to help children, with different abilities and backgrounds, and in diverse countries and cultures, to expand their range of effective coping skills. Extensive evaluation has demonstrated the programme’s effectiveness and it is now being expanded internationally.

Implementation of a School Based Mental Health Promotion Programme in Ireland (Byrne, M., Barry, M. and Sheridan, A., 2004)
This paper reflects on the challenges associated with developing, implementing and evaluating a universal curriculum-based module promoting positive mental health for 15-18 year olds in Irish schools. The module consists of 13 classroom sessions over two years, and uses experiential learning techniques to address issues such as coping strategies and sources of support. The paper is structured around the implications of a conceptual model of implementation for school-based preventive interventions developed by Greenberg et al (2001b), covering three phases of programme implementation: pre-adoption – adapting principles of best practice to local circumstances, teacher training; deliver – school ethos, stakeholder involvement, measuring implementation, selecting appropriate outcome indicators, designing an activity-based evaluation workshop for students; and post-delivery – development of quality indicators for teachers to use on an ongoing basis, scaling-up issues.

The Sustainability of Mentally Healthy School Initiatives: Insights from the Experiences of a Co-Education Secondary School in Aotearoa/New Zealand
(Dickinson, P., Neilson, G. and Agee, M., 2004)
Developing mental health promotion and education approaches requires innovation, partnerships, collaboration and, above all, passion and commitment to the healthy development of young people. This article, based on the story of an urban secondary school in Aotearoa/New Zealand, provides background information on the Mentally Healthy Schools initiative and an overview of a range of approaches implemented to promote, educate and support the mental health of students and staff. The paper concludes by highlighting the key features that appear to be critical to the sustainability of school-based initiatives to promote the mental health of young people.

Building Capacity for System-Level Change in Schools: Lessons from the Gatehouse Project (Bond, L., Glover, S., Godfrey, C., and Patton, G., 2001)
The Gatehouse Project is an innovative, comprehensive approach to mental health promotion in secondary schools. It sets out to promote student engagement and school connectedness as the way to improve emotional well-being and learning outcomes. The key elements of the whole-school intervention are the establishment and support of a school-based adolescent health team; the identification of risk and protective factors in each school’s social and leaning environment from student surveys; and, through the use of these data, the identification and implementation of effective strategies to address these issues. This article describes and accounts for how system-level changes have been made in schools through a process of capacity building.

MindMatters, a Whole-School Approach Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing
(Wyn, J., Cahill, H., Holdsworth, R., Rowling, L. and Carson, S., 2000)
Educational interventions that have a multi-disciplinary base that aim to capture the elements of whole school change require evaluation designs and methods that can capture and provide evidence of change, not only in the elements but also their interaction. In the dynamic environment of schools, evaluation designs that engage participants and are respectful of school conditions can support and enhance desired outcomes. Evaluation of school mental health promotion needs to provide evidence of both mental health outcomes and educational outcomes. The challenge is how to focus on what evidence is valued – evidence based practice and/or practice evidence. This presentation will describe how the multiple approaches employed in the evaluation of MindMatters addressed these challenges, and provide some recommendations for future practice.

Participatory Model of Mental Health Programming: Lessons Learned from Work in a Developing Country (Nastasi, Bonnie K., Varjas, Kristen, Sarkar, Sreeroopa, Jayasena, Asoka, 1998)
Participatory action research provides a framework for conceptualizing the development of mental health programs in schools and communities. A participatory intervention model is best characterized by a collaborative process in which the partners together create interventions to facilitate individual and cultural change. In this article, we describe the application of a participatory model for creating school-based mental health services in a developing country where such services are non-existent. In particular, we describe the process of identifying individual and cultural factors relevant to mental health in the target culture.

WHO Mental Health Atlas
(WHO, 2008) “Project Atlas of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse is designed to collect, compile and disseminate data on mental health and neurology resources in the world. Resources include policies, programmes, financing, services, professionals, treatment and medicines, information systems and related organizations. These resources are necessary to provide services and care for people with mental, behavioural and neurological diseases/disorders.”

Mental Health: Strengthening Mental Health Promotion
(WFMH, 2004) Results of survey done on families of children with ADHD across Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA. Data shows high level of parent concern about impact of ADHD on child’s social and academic development. Also indicates average time to acquire diagnosis was 2 years. Summary of key findings available for each country; Report and PPT available in English, Spanish, German Russian.

World Federation for Mental Health
(WFMH, 2007) “The WFMH is an international membership organization founded in 1948 to advance, among all peoples and nations, the prevention of mental and emotional disorders, the proper treatment and care of those with such disorders, and the promotion of mental health.” The link above takes you directly to a wealth of resources available on the WFMH website.

The Scientific Base Linking Social and Emotional Learning to Academic Success
(CASEL, 2004) This article appears as the first chapter in the book Building academic success on social and emotional learning. Authors discuss the various domains which define SEL (social and emotional learning), including: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management and relationship management. Authors offer key recommendations for addressing SEL in a school setting through: SEL-targeted curricula, integrating SEL skill building in school, promoting a supportive environment, altering the instructional approach to integrate SEL, creating partnerships between parents, teachers and students, and involving students experientially in the learning process.

Planning Tools

Creating an Environment for Social and Emotional Wellbeing
(EDC, 2003) A Psychosocial Environment assessment tool for schools to determine how supportive schools are to girls and boys. Tool can be used by teachers, administrators or other staff to assess 7 quality areas

  • Providing a friendly, rewarding and supportive atmosphere;
  • Supporting cooperation and active learning;
  • Forbidding physical punishment and violence;
  • Not tolerating bullying, harassment and discrimination;
  • Valuing the development of creative activities;
  • Connecting school and homelife through involving parents;
  • Promoting equal opportunities and participation in decision-making.

Includes tools for discussion of results with parents and other community members.

Council for Global Education Website
How well does the Intercamhs definition represent your work?
Which type(s) of MH intervention do you address in your work?
Join the webboard discussion:
This site describes a model which can be useful to frame efforts to prevent violence in a school or community. Building on principles of character education, this model goes further to suggest that educatio should also encompass “universal values, global understanding, excellence in all things, and service to humanity.”. Maintains a list of organizations that promote peace in many countries around the world.

Health Schools website
This site describes comprehensive school health (CSH) — also called “health promoting schools” and “coordinated school health” in other parts of the world. Offers a library of information on the elements of a CSH program, guidelines to develop school policies, and tools to assess progress. Practitioners will find practical guides, lesson plans and webquests for use with youth. This site offers a subscription to an online newsletter summarizing key information and trends. Available in both French and English.

European Network of Health Promoting Schools
Supported by WHO Europe, Council of Europe and the European Commission, this organization publishes on issues related to a “health promoting school”– implementing practices to achieve a health promoting school; “Alcohol use among young Europeans”; manuals on healthy eating; guides for evaluation.

National Center for Mental Health Promotion and Youth Violence Prevention
This website provides resources and publication on various aspects of mental health prevention. Each Resource Page contains links to selected publications, websites, online events, and other resources that were selected for their value to grantees. Resources focus on either a specific activity (such as funding, evaluation, or social marketing) or on an issue (such as mental health, suicide, or gangs).

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