An Overview of International Literature on School Interventions to Promote Mental Health and Well-being in Children and Adolescents



Mauro Giovanni Carta1, 2, *, Teresa Di Fiandra3, Lorenzo Rampazzo4, Paolo Contu1, Antonio Preti1, 2
1 Centro di Psichiatria di Consultazione e Psicosomatica, University Hospital, Cagliari, Italy
2 Department of Public Health and Clinical and Molecular Medicine, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy
3 3Italian Ministry of Health;
4 Regione Veneto, Italy
This work was supported by Italian Collaborating Unit of the VII work package of the European Joint Action on Mental Health.


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© Carta et al.; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestrictive use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Centro di Psichiatria di Consultazione e Psicosomatica, University Hospital, Cagliari, Italy: Tel: +39/070/6093495; E-mail: mgcarta@tiscali.ir


Abstract

Introduction:

Mental disorders are the largest cause of the burden of disease in the world. Most of the burden affecting adult life has its onset during childhood and adolescence. The European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing calls for immediate action and investments in the mental health of children and adolescents. Schools may be the ideal location for promoting health and delivering healthcare services, since schools are a location where young people usually spend their daytime and socialize, schools are easily accessible to families, can provide non-stigmatizing health actions, and form links with the community.

Aims and Goals of this Special Issue:

This issue is developed within the framework of the Joint Action on Mental Health promoted by the European Commission. This special issue presents a set of systematic reviews on the evidence of the international literature on school interventions for the promotion of the mental health and wellbeing of children and adolescents. It is focused on five topical main areas: promoting general health and wellbeing; programs targeting specific mental disorders and conditions and integration of adolescents with mental health problems; Bullying; Sport; Alcohol and Drugs. An additional paper on the results of the largest epidemiological study conducted in some European countries on the prevalence and relative risk factors of mental disorders in school-age completes the issue.

Conclusion:

These reviews are a first contribution to address future European research and interventions, in particular about the multiple ways through which European policies could support the schooling and wellbeing of children and adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescent, children, Europe, intervention, mental health, school, well-being.