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


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.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences > School of Psychology
College of Health & Life Sciences > Aston Institute of Health & Neurodevelopment (AIHN)
College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 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 (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Primary school,child,education,intervention,mental health,screening,Developmental and Educational Psychology,Clinical Psychology,Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 1741-2692
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 17:28
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 15:17
Full Text Link:
Related URLs: https://www.tan ... 52.2022.2110704 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2022-09-27
Accepted Date: 2022-09-01
Authors: Williamson, Victoria
Larkin, Michael (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-3304-7000)
MacDonald, Ian
Morgan, Fran
Ford, Tamsin
Spence, Susan H.
Reardon, Tessa
Creswell, Cathy



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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