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A systematic review of universal approaches to mental health promotion in schools

Jane Wells (Jane Wells is Director of Public Health, Newbury and Community Primary Care Trust, Newbury, UK.)
Jane Barlow (Jane Barlow is Primary Care Career Scientist, Health Services Research Unit, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK)
Sarah Stewart‐Brown (Sarah Stewart‐Brown is Professor of Public Health, The Medical School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK.)

Health Education

ISSN: 0965-4283

Article publication date: 1 August 2003

Abstract

Reviews previous studies of the universal approach to mental health promotion, and disease prevention programmes or interventions in schools. Over 8,000 publications were identified initially and 425 studies obtained for further review. The inclusion criteria were met by 17 (mostly US) studies investigating 16 interventions. Positive evidence of effectiveness was obtained for programmes that adopted a whole‐school approach, were implemented continuously for more than a year, and were aimed at the promotion of mental health as opposed to the prevention of mental illness. Provides evidence that universal school mental health promotion programmes can be effective and suggests that long‐term interventions promoting the positive mental health of all pupils and involving changes to the school climate are likely to be more successful than brief class‐based mental illness prevention programmes.

Keywords

Citation

Wells, J., Barlow, J. and Stewart‐Brown, S. (2003), "A systematic review of universal approaches to mental health promotion in schools", Health Education, Vol. 103 No. 4, pp. 197-220. https://doi.org/10.1108/09654280310485546

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2003, MCB UP Limited