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ORGANIZING MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES IN SCHOOLS: ASSESSING TEACHERS' ROLES

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Author(s): Kaveh MH. | Shojaezadeh D. | Shahmohammadi D. | Eftekhar Ardebili H. | Rahimi A. | Bolharij J.

Journal: Journal of School of Public Health and Institute of Public Health Research
ISSN 1735-7586

Volume: 1;
Issue: 4;
Start page: 1;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: School Mental Health | Intention

ABSTRACT
Approximately 21% of children and adolescents experience signs and symptoms of a"nDSM-1V disorder during the course of a school year, yet fewer than 20% of those needing"nmental health services actually receive any. Research suggests that schools and teachers"ncan help promote mental health, delect children at risk, and refer them for psychiatric"nassistance. This study aims to determine the effects of an educational intervention on"nteachers' knowledge, attitude, self-reliance and practice."nThis study was carried out in 24 State-run elementary schools in the city of Khorramabad"nin Lorestan province. Iran, during the academic years 2001 - 3."nOf the 64 teachers initially selected, 57 agreed to participate in the study; 27 of these were"nplaced in the intervention group and the remaining 30 in the control group."nThe intervention group attended a 3-day workshop. Self- administered questionnaires"nwere filled before and after the workshop, and at the end of the project data were collected"nfrom teachers and students. Statistical analysis was done by the SPSS package, using"nmainly nonparametric tests."n49% of the participants were men, 42% had a high school diploma and others had"nuniversity degrees. Findings showed significant improvements in teachers' knowledge."nattitude, and practice in the intervention group. No such improvement was observed in"ncontrols. Teachers in the intervention group were able to identify and refer 106 suspected"ncases, of whom 79 had a mental disorder confirmed by a psychiatrist. Within the same"nperiod, only 2 cases had been referred by the control group. Students' knowledge, the"nmain criteria of teachers' practice in mental health education, had significantly improved"nin the intervention but not in the control group. Results suggest that female teachers had"nhigher KAP levels than their male colleagues."nThe study confirms that trained teachers have the capabilities required for participating in"nSchool - Based Mental Health Services. It also appears that schools are indeed a crucial"nplace for helping children in need of mental health services.
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