This chapter explores a range of issues relating to the role played by schools in promoting the mental health of children and young people. Attention is paid to universal provision of social-emotional learning as a means of preventing later difficulties, the school as a site for targeted/indicated work with children of or already experiencing problems and the potential utility of school-based universal mental health screening. Additional issues including strategic integration across schools and other services, training and development needs of school staff and the importance of effective implementation are also discussed. What we mean and understand by ‘mental health’ and related terms (e.g. social and emotional wellbeing) is a critical starting point for this chapter. Mental health discourse is controversial, and there is a long-standing opposition to the traditional ‘illness framework’ in which it is viewed in terms of disease and disorder (Pilgrim, 2014; Rogers and Pilgrim, 2014).
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