The School Children Mental Health in Europe (SCMHE) Project: Design and First Results

Viviane Kovess *, 1, Mauro Giovanni Carta 2, Ondine Pez 1, Adina Bitfoi 3, Ceren Koç 4, Dietmar Goelitz 5, Rowella Kuijpers 6, Sigita Lesinskiene 7, Zlatka Mihova 8, Roy Otten 9
1 EHESP Rennes, Sorbonne Paris Cite, EA 4057 Paris Descartes University, Paris, France
2 Centro di Psichiatria di Consulenza e Psicosomatica Azienda Ospedaliero Universitaria di Cagliari
3 The Romanian League for Mental Health, Bucharest, Romania
4 Yeniden Health and Education Society, Istanbul, Turkey
5 Institute of Psychology, University of Koblenz-Landau (Campus Koblenz), Koblenz, Germany
6 Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
7 Clinic of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Vilnius, Vilnius, Lithuania
8 New Bulgarian University, Sofia Bulgaria
9 Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

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© Kovess et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

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* Address correspondence to this author at the EHESP Rennes, Sorbonne Paris Cite, EA 4057 Paris Descartes University, Paris, France; Tel: +33299022536; E-mails: and


Background : The School Children Mental Health in Europe (SCMHE) project aims to build up a set of indicators to collect and monitor children's mental health in an efficient and comparable methodology across the EU countries. It concerns primary schools children aged 6 to 11 years a range where few data are available whereas school interventions are promising. Methods : Three informants were used: parents, teachers and children. In selecting instruments language, instruments were selected according to the easiness to translate them: SDQ (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) for parents and teachers and DI (Dominic Interactive). A two-step procedure was used: schools randomization then six children by class in each grade. Results : 9084 children from seven countries (Italy, Netherlands, Germany, Romania, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Turkey) completed the Dominic Interactive in their own language. 6563 teachers and 6031 parents completed their questionnaire, and a total of 5574 interviews have been completed by the 3 informants. The participation rate of the children with parents in the participating schools was about 66.4%. As expected teachers report more externalised problems and less internalised problems than parents. Children report more internalised problems than parents and teachers. Boys have consistently more externalised problems than girls and this is the reverse for internalised problems. Combining the diverse informants and impairment levels children with problems requiring some sort of mental health care were about 9.9%: 76% did not see any mental health professional: 78.7% In Eastern countries 63.1% in Western Europe.

Keyword: Children, dominique interactive, epidemiological survey, Europe, mental health, strengths and difficulties questionnaire.