The role of school-based interventions in preventing childhood mental health problems
Mental health problems in children are a serious issue in our society, and we need to do everything we can to prevent them. Until recently, the focus has been on treatments, but they often don’t work well enough. We need to take a proactive approach: helping children before they develop problems. School-based interventions are a great way to do this.
We know that mental health problems are common in schools, and that many of those children go on to have mental health problems as adults. Early interventions help us catch problems when they start, and provide treatment at an age where it is more likely to succeed. Children are not too young to benefit from treatment; they need help too.
School-based interventions are also effective at reducing stigma, as students learn about mental illness together and learn that it is nothing to be afraid of. Teachers also report feeling less afraid of students with mental health issues when they learn about them in these group settings.
Finally, school-based interventions are cost-effective because schools already exist and we can easily integrate them into the existing system. It is a much more efficient use of resources than starting from scratch with new facilities or medical clinics targeting childhood mental illness.