Chapter 3

Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools

Katherine Weare

University of Exeter and University of Southampton, U.K.

Melanie Nind

University of Southampton, U.K.


Aims of this Chapter

This chapter is based on a systematic review undertaken by the “DataPrev project” which is a large, cross-European project, funded by the European Union. The project aimed to establish the evidence base for developing policy and practice in promoting mental health and wellbeing in four areas: parenting, school, the workplace, and for older people. This chapter gives an account of the findings of the schools' review and explores what it can tell us about “what works” in promoting mental health and wellbeing in schools. A summary of the key points can be found at the end.

The School as an Opportunity for Promoting Mental Health and Wellbeing

Childhood and adolescence present a real opportunity to develop the foundations for mental health and wellbeing, and schools form a powerful way to deliver this. In the developed world at least, school is compulsory and provides direct day-to-day contact with children, young people, often with their families. Schools have an important role to play in cognitive development and academic achievement, and also in social and emotional development, and indeed current thinking is that both the cognitive and noncognitive aspects of learning are inextricably intertwined, with school achievement bringing a sense of self-worth and efficacy, and emotional ...

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