Supporting children's emotional well-being and mental health in England - a review.

Maxwell, Claire, Aggleton, Peter, Warwick, Ian, Yankah, Ekua, Hill, Vivian and Mehmedbegović, Dina (2008) Supporting children's emotional well-being and mental health in England - a review. Health Education, 108 (4). pp. 272-286. ISSN 0017-8969

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Purpose: This paper aims to inform the development of policies and programmes to support children and young people's emotional wellbeing and mental health. It seeks to bring together findings both from recent systematic reviews, and from individual evaluation studies which have adopted a relatively rigorous methodology but whose findings have not to date been included in such analyses. Research undertaken in England is to be prioritised, to complement an existing evidence base comprised largely of findings from US‐based research.

Design/methodology/approach: Using five key search strategies, studies were categorised into three main categories – “demonstrably effective approaches”, “promising approaches” and “approaches for which there is little or no supporting evidence” – according to robustness of evidence. Overall, 171 potentially relevant studies were identified, with 20 of these being robust enough for inclusion in the final review.

Findings: In schools, sustained broad‐based mental health promotion programmes combined with more targeted behavioural and cognitive‐behavioural therapy (CBT) for those children with identifiable emotional wellbeing and mental health needs, offer evidence of a demonstrably effective approach. Early and brief intervention programmes which reduce waiting times for services appear promising approaches and seem to reduce the number of sessions a family require. There is a reasonably strong evidence base to support targeted work with both parents and children.

Practical implications: By providing a detailed description of the successful initiatives reviewed, this paper should help policy‐makers and practitioners to develop their work.

Originality/value: By complementing the relatively narrow evidence base offered by systematic reviews, this more broadly based review offers policy‐makers and practitioners in England an up‐to‐date, context‐relevant guide for programme development within this field.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Depositing User: Peter Aggleton
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:03
Last Modified: 08 Mar 2017 12:22
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