Purpose of review
Addressing youth mental health in secondary schools has received greater attention globally in the past decade. It is essential that educators, mental health experts, researchers, and other related service providers understand the most current research findings to inform policy making, and identify priority areas for the development of future interventions and research strategies. This review describes literature during the past year on school-based mental health programs addressing mental health promotion, prevention, early identification and intervention/treatment.
In contrast to the abundance of school-based mental health programs, the evidence of program effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness in this area is somewhat insufficient, mostly due to the lack of rigorous research designs, the heterogeneity of school environments, and the complexities of interventions that require multisector collaboration.
Although the opportunity in school mental health is substantial, much yet needs to be done to develop and evaluate interventions that can be proven to be effective, safe and cost-effective. Mental health literacy may be an appropriate start that will help to set the foundation for mental health promotion, prevention and intervention.