Identification of "At-risk" Students for Prevention and Early Intervention Programs in Secondary Schools

Marilyn A Campbell
2004 Australian Journal of Guidance and Counselling  
Recent epidemiological studies in Australia have found that adolescent mental health issues are an important public health problem (Sawyer et al., 2001). These problems are often manifested in the classroom. As many as one in five Australian children aged from 4 to 17 have significant mental health concerns (Zubrick, Silburn, Burton, & Blair, 2000). However, only one in four of these young people receive professional help (Sawyer et al., 2001). To assist in preventing these problems,
more » ... se problems, schools in Australia have been trialling innovative strategies in mental health promotion, prevention and intervention such as the Gatehouse Project and MindMatters. When selected or indicated prevention strategies are employed there is a need for identification of those students either at-risk or who have mild symptoms of a disorder. This process needs to be efficient and effective, using multiple informants and multi-methods. This article reports on the process utilised by two Australian high schools that trialled an identification process for at-risk students for anxiety/depression using indicated prevention programs. The benefits of using teachers, support staff and student self-identification are discussed.
doi:10.1017/s1037291100002673 fatcat:ue5xxjzjq5fn3kxjtyz4qtqkzm