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Lancet Psychiatry. 2014 Oct;1(5):388-98. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(14)70357-8. Epub 2014 Oct 7.

Mental health interventions in schools in low-income and middle-income countries.

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Department of Psychiatry, University of Oxford, Warneford Hospital, Oxford, UK. Electronic address:
Centre for Global Mental Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK; Centre for Chronic Conditions and Injuries, Public Health Foundation of India, India; Sangath, Goa, India.
United Nations Children's Fund, NY, USA.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, MD, USA.


Increasing enrolment rates could place schools in a crucial position to support mental health in low-income and middle-income countries. In this Review, we provide evidence for mental health interventions in schools in accordance with a public mental health approach spanning promotion, prevention, and treatment. We identified a systematic review for mental health promotion, and identified further prevention and treatment studies. Present evidence supports schools as places for promotion of positive aspects of mental health using a whole-school approach. Knowledge of effectiveness of prevention and treatment interventions is more widely available for conflict-affected children and adolescents. More evidence is needed to identify the many elements likely to be associated with effective prevention and treatment for children exposed to a range of adversity and types of mental disorders. Dissemination and implementation science is crucial to establish how proven effective interventions could be scaled up and implemented in schools.

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