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Implementing Mental Health Promotion in Schools: A Process Evaluation

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Abstract:

Recognition of the increasing burden of mental illness and the need for mental health promotion is leading researchers to explore ways of assessing the impact of mental health promotion initiatives. In particular, among young people, the impact of mental health promotion in the school setting is being investigated in terms of achieving change that is sustained. This paper argues that potential indicators of success associated with process need to be identified as a way to support schools and project teams as they implement mental health promotion initiatives. A process evaluation of a project to promote resilience in children and primary school communities using a health promotion school (HPS) approach was conducted in Brisbane, Australia, in 2004 and 2005. Aside from differences in the way in which the participating schools structured and implemented their health-promoting school projects, several critical themes emerged that have relevance to mental health promotion projects in school settings. They include the importance of time, the school context and supportive organisational structures, ethos and environment, and building resilience into the curriculum. Other themes indicated the importance of the engagement of the whole school community and of developing partnerships and services, and the usefulness of the health-promoting school framework. Such key factors should be considered in relation to the challenges facing schools that wish to promote resilience, or other concepts related to mental health.

Keywords: HEALTH-PROMOTING SCHOOL; PROCESS EVALUATION; RESILIENCE

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-02-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention policies. It is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information system which publishes material of distinction submitted by clinical/medical staff, health services researchers, managers, health promoters, educationalists, sociologists, health economists and practitioners from all branches of health and social care.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is designed to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is published four times a year and is an official research journal of The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

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