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What do we know about promoting mental health through schools?

Weare, Katherine and Markham, Wolfgang (2005) What do we know about promoting mental health through schools? Promotion & Education, XII, (3-4), pp. 14-18.

Record type: Article

Abstract

There is a growing evidence base on what schools need to do to promote mental health effectively. There is strong evidence that they need first and foremost to use a whole school approach. This shapes the social contexts which promote mental health and which provide a backdrop of measures to prevent mental health disorders. In this context the targeting of those with articular needs and the work of the specialist services can be much more effective. Schools need to use positive models of mental health, which emphasise well being and competence not just illness– this will help overcome problems of stigma and denial and promote the idea of mental health as ‘everyone’s business’. The most effective programmes in schools which address mental health have the following characteristics: • They provide a backdrop of universal provision to promote the mental health of all and then target those with special needs effectively. • They are multi-dimensional and coherent. • They create supportive climates that promote warmth, empathy, positive expectations and clear boundaries. • They tackle mental health problems early when they first manifest themselves and then take a long term, developmental approach which does not expect immediate answers. • They identify and target vulnerable and at risk groups and help people to acquire the skills and competences that underlie mental health. • They involve end users and their families in ways that encourage a feeling of ownership and participation, and provide effective training for those who run the programmes, including helping them to promote their own mental health. Using these starting points, we need to develop a rigorous evidence- based approach on this issue. We also require to facilitate the dissemination of such research findings while encouraging new and innovative approaches.

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More information

Published date: 2005
Keywords: mental health, mental health promotion in schools, health promoting schools, whole school approach

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 24083
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/24083
ISSN: 1025-3823
PURE UUID: f4fbb23d-0006-469e-895d-6497b21a8c1d

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 24 Apr 2006
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 16:15

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Contributors

Author: Katherine Weare
Author: Wolfgang Markham

University divisions

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