Priorities and preferences for school-based mental health services in India: a multi-stakeholder study with adolescents, parents, school staff and mental health providers

Parikh, R, Michelson, D, Sapru, M, Sahu, R, Singh, A, Cuijpers, P and Patel, V (2019) Priorities and preferences for school-based mental health services in India: a multi-stakeholder study with adolescents, parents, school staff and mental health providers. Global Mental Health, 6. e18. ISSN 2054-4251

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Abstract

Background
Schools are important settings for increasing reach and uptake of adolescent mental health interventions. There is limited consensus on the focus and content of school-based mental health services (SBMHSs), particularly in low-resource settings. This study elicited the views of diverse stakeholders in two urban settings in India about their priorities and preferences for SBMHSs.
Methods
We completed semi-structured interviews and focus group discussions with adolescents (n=191), parents (n=9), teachers (n=78), school counsellors (n=15), clinical psychologists and psychiatrists (n=7). Qualitative data were obtained on prioritized outcomes, preferred content and delivery methods, and indicated barriers.
Results
All stakeholders indicated the need for and acceptability of SBMHSs. Adolescents prioritized resolution of life problems and preferred practical guidance. Parents and teachers emphasized functional outcomes and preferred to be involved in interventions. This contrasted with adolescents’ preferences for limited involvement from parents and teachers, to maintain confidentiality. Face-to-face counselling was the most acceptable delivery format; self-help was less frequently recommended but was more acceptable when blended with guidance or delivered as digital interventions. Structured sensitization was recommended to ensure adolescent engagement. Providers endorsed a stepped care approach to address different levels of mental health need among adolescents.
Conclusion
SBMHSs are desired by adolescents and adult stakeholders in this setting where few such services exist. Sensitization activities are required to support implementation. School counsellors have an important role in identifying and treating adolescents with different levels of mental health need, and a suite of interventions are needed to target these needs effectively and efficiently.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Schools; qualitative; India; adolescents; stakeholder analysis
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Sanjeedah Choudhury
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2019 11:28
Last Modified: 21 Aug 2019 15:16
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/84971

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