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Mental health provision in schools: priority, facilitators and barriers in 10 European countries

Patalay, P; Giese, L; Stanković, M; Curtin, C; Moltrecht, B; Gondek, D; (2016) Mental health provision in schools: priority, facilitators and barriers in 10 European countries. Child and Adolescent Mental Health , 21 (3) pp. 139-147. 10.1111/camh.12160. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Although schools are a key setting for the provision of mental health support for young people, little is known about the facilitators and barriers for providing such support. This study aimed to collect information from schools in 10 European countries regarding the priority given to mental health support for students, existence of a mental health-related school policy, links with relevant external agencies, schools’ perceptions on whether they are providing sufficient mental health support and the barriers to provision of mental health support. Methods: Data from 1346 schools were collected in France, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Poland, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and Ukraine through an online survey. Results: Around 3% of the surveyed schools indicated that mental health provision was not a priority, compared to 47% indicating that it was a high/essential priority. More than half the surveyed schools did not implement a school policy regarding mental health. Half the surveyed schools reported not providing sufficient support with the key barriers identified including limited staff capacity, funding, access to specialists and lack of national policy and less than a third of schools reported good or excellent links with local mental health services. However, the responses varied by country with 8–19% between-country variation across the study outcomes. Secondary schools reported significantly better links with agencies, were more likely to have a school policy and were less likely to indicate having sufficient existing support compared to primary schools. Privately funded schools reported that mental health support was a higher priority and identified less barriers to provision compared to publicly funded schools. Conclusion: This study provides an up-to-date and cross-country insight into schools’ perceptions regarding priority given to mental health support and the barriers they face in providing sufficient mental health and wellbeing support for their students. The cross-country comparisons allow for a better understanding of the relationships between policy, practice and implementation and provide a platform for shared experiences and learning.

Type: Article
Title: Mental health provision in schools: priority, facilitators and barriers in 10 European countries
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/camh.12160
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/camh.12160
Language: English
Additional information: © 2016 The Authors. Child and Adolescent Mental Health published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child Adolescent Mental Health. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.
Keywords: Mental health; wellbeing; intervention; schools; barriers; policy; Europe
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > Population Science and Experimental Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Cardiovascular Science > MRC Unit for Lifelong Hlth and Ageing
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1495697
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