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Do universal school-based mental health promotion programmes improve the mental health and emotional well-being of young people? : a literature review

O'Connor, Clare A.; Dyson, Judith; Cowdell, Fiona; Watson, Roger



Aim To examine evidence—using a range of outcomes— for the effectiveness of school-based mental health and emotional well-being programmes. Background It is estimated that 20% of young people experience mental health difficulties every year. Schools have been identified as an appropriate setting for providing mental health and emotional well-being promotion prompting the need to determine whether current school-based programmes are effective in improving the mental health and emotional well-being of young people. Methods A systematic search was conducted using the health and education databases, which identified 29 studies that measured the effectiveness of school-based universal interventions. PRISMA guidelines were used during the literature review process. Results Thematic analysis generated three key themes: i) help seeking and coping; ii) social and emotional well-being; and iii) psycho-educational effectiveness. Conclusion It is concluded that whilst these studies show promising results there is a need for further robust evaluative studies to guide future practice.

Journal Article Type Review
Publication Date Feb 1, 2018
Journal Journal of clinical nursing
Print ISSN 0962-1067
Electronic ISSN 1365-2702
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 27
Issue 3-4
Pages e412-e426
Keywords Mental health, Emotional well-being, Young people, Schools, Psycho-education, Help-seeking, Coping, Social skills, Help-seeking, Health promotion interventions
Publisher URL
Additional Information This is a description of an article published in: Journal of clinical nursing, 2017.


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