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The importance of working in schools to try and meet the mental health needs of children across the globe is highlighted in this series published in Lancet Psychiatry by Mina Fazel and colleagues. The two-part series focuses on interventions in high-income countries and those in low and middle-income countries.

Embedding mental health interventions in schools
Mina Fazel with school team (headteacher, school health nurse and PCAMHS worker)

It is important to find ways to make mental health interventions and services accessible to children and young people. It is estimated that 10 – 20% of children could benefit from access to mental health services, yet only a small proportion do actually access services. The barriers to receiving care include availability of services and stigma and fear of accessing care. As the vast majority of children have access to schools, this series discusses the range of mental health interventions that have been introduced into school settings and then importance of finding ways to introduce these interventions to greater numbers of children. Mina Fazel is also working with Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust to bring mental health services into Oxfordshire secondary schools with a pilot project allocating Primary mental health workers (PCAMHS) into schools for half a day each week.

Why Schools Should Screen Their Students’ Mental Health

TIME magazine online (USA), 07/10/2014, Alexandra Sifferlin

Schools should be a first line of defence for catching young people at risk for mental health issues from depression to ADHD, a pair of new reports says. Kids and adolescents spend a significant amount of their time in school, yet providing mental health screenings and care is not an overarching requirement for many schools. ‘We need to think about how to embed mental health services so they become part of the culture in schools,’ says study author Dr Mina Fazel, a child psychiatrist at the University of Oxford. ‘It will take a commitment from health and education.’ According to data presented in the reports, about 75% of adults who access mental health treatment had a diagnosable disorder when they were under age 18, but in high-income countries, only 25% of kids with mental health problems get treatment.

Also:

Routine mental health screening in schools could help 1 in 10 children with issues

The Journal online (Ireland), Unattributed, 08/10/2014

Teachers key to connect children with mental-health treatment, doctors say

CBC online (Canada), 08/10/2014, Unattributed

Drive to put mental health workers into more schools
Oxford Mail, p.4, 09/10/2014, Callum Keown
Mental health workers could be based in all of Oxfordshire’s secondary schools within two years. Currently the project, launched by Oxford Health NHS Foundation and Oxford University, sees staff spend half a day each week at three schools.
Employees from the trust’s primary child and adolescent mental health services (PCAMHS) will spend time consulting with staff about which children could benefit from receiving additional support. They will also see children directly at the school – on a one-to-one basis.
Dr Mina Fazel, from the University of Oxford’s Department of Psychiatry, is behind the programme. She said: “We are trying to address the fact that mental health services exist but many children don’t access them, whether there’s a stigma attached or they’re fearful. The same workers will go to the same schools each week and become recognisable, predictable and part of the fabric as much as is possible. We want to address some of the accessibility issues.”

TV: South Today, BBC1
08/10/2014, 18:35
Dr Mina Fazel of Oxford University is interviewed about the most common behavioural disorders in children and how to address them.

Plan for mental health workers in schools
Oxford Times, 16/10/2014, p.6
Mental health workers could be based in all of Oxfordshire’s secondary schools within two years. Currently the project, launched by Oxford Health NHS Foundation and Oxford University, sees staff spend half a day each week at three schools, but it is hoped the scheme could be rolled out to many more.

Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust press release (Oxford BBC webpage)

Focuses on what is done locally to bring the research into practice

The Lancet Psychiatry series