Early intervention can make a significant difference to reducing mental health difficulties in children and can result in dramatic, practical benefits that are sustained over time. Effective support during the early stages of a child’s difficulty can mean that mental health issues are resolved before they become worse or entrenched, improving the quality of life for children and their families.
Mental health and schools
Schools are in an effective position to identify and assist students who have early signs of mental health difficulties, due to the significant amount of contact that they have with students and their families. This is particularly so in primary schools where teacher interaction with students and their families is extensive and regular.
There are a range of ways in which schools assist students and families to access interventions. Some schools have very limited resources and supports while others have access to a range of supports in the community. Some schools work closely with their local community agencies and are able to offer many services and interventions at the school or in the local area. Each school will need to identify both the needs of their students and the supports available to them.