Mental Health and Schools


10-20% of children and adolescents worldwide experience mental disorders, which if untreated, severely influence their development, educational attainment and their potential to live fulfilling lives.
Reducing school drop out rate to less than 10% and increasing the proportion of tertiary degrees to 40% is one of Europe2020 headline targets.
School in general, and educational attainment in particular, are recognized amongst the fundamental determinants of mental health of children and adolescents.
Effective collaboration across all policy areas, and primarly between health, social and education sectors, is key to concretely promoting the mental health of children and adolescents.



Evidence shows that improved mental wellbeing during childhood and adolescence has a broad range of impacts across the life course including the prevention of mental disorder. This is important since mental disorders account for one of the largest and fastest growing categories of the burden of disease (OECD, 2011), in part because up to 50% of lifetime mental disorders arise before adulthood (Belfer, 2008). Effective interventions exist to treat mental disorder during childhood and adolescence, prevent it from arising and also to promote mental health with economic savings even in the short term. However, the majority who would benefit do not receive such interventions which has a broad set of impacts and associated economic costs (Olesen et al, 2012).


To develop an action framework for cooperation between the health, social and education sector the management of mental disorder prevention and mental health and well-being promotion, including educational attainment, among children and adolescents as part of a commonly endorsed action framework on mental health and well being in Europe.


Analysis of the situation of mental disorder prevention and mental health and well-being promotion among children and adolescents

  • Mapping of the scientific evidence and the best practices relevant for the implementation of effective actions (to access the review, please click here);
  • Draw up recommendations for action at EU-level and in Member States (policy makers; health professionals; EU, national and local networks);
  • Support the engagement and commitment of Member States and other stakeholders in effective action to develop more effective actions in the field.

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