Primary school based mental health practitioners’ perspectives of school-based screening for childhood mental disorders and intervention delivery: A qualitative study

Victoria Williamson, Michael Larkin, Ian MacDonald, Fran Morgan, Tamsin Ford, Susan H. Spence, Tessa Reardon, Cathy Creswell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Schools may be well-placed to identify signs of mental health (MH) problems in children; however, there has been little research into how school-based screening and intervention initiatives should be delivered. One-to-one in-depth interviews were carried out with 15 practitioners that support children’s MH within primary school settings. Data were analysed with template analysis. We explored practitioners’ perceptions of a school-based screening/intervention programme for childhood MH problems and views about potential barriers to uptake. Three themes were identified. First, practitioners described feeling overwhelmed by the volume of children requiring support and the limited capacity of their service. Second, practitioners identified potential barriers to engagement in a school screening/intervention programme, including familial concerns about stigma. Finally, practitioners were optimistic that a screening/intervention programme could have positive effects for children who might otherwise not be identified as potentially benefitting from support. This study highlights that a primary school-based screening/intervention programme designed in partnership with stakeholders would be well received by practitioners supporting MH within school settings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalEmotional and Behavioural Difficulties
Volume27
Issue number2
Early online date27 Sep 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

Keywords

  • Primary school
  • child
  • education
  • intervention
  • mental health
  • screening

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Primary school based mental health practitioners’ perspectives of school-based screening for childhood mental disorders and intervention delivery: A qualitative study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this