Early detection and intervention can counteract mental disorders and risk behaviours among adolescents. However, help-seeking rates are low. School-based screenings are a promising tool to detect adolescents at risk for mental problems and to improve help-seeking behaviour. We assessed associations between the intervention “Screening by Professionals” (ProfScreen) and the use of mental health services and at-risk state at 12 month follow-up compared to a control group. School students (aged 15 ± 0.9 years) from 11 European countries participating in the “Saving and Empowering Young Lives in Europe” (SEYLE) study completed a self-report questionnaire on mental health problems and risk behaviours. ProfScreen students considered “at-risk” for mental illness or risk behaviour based on the screening were invited for a clinical interview with a mental health professional and, if necessary, referred for subsequent treatment. At follow-up, students completed another self-report, additionally reporting on service use. Of the total sample (N = 4,172), 61.9% were considered at-risk. 40.7% of the ProfScreen at-risk participants invited for the clinical interview attended the interview, and 10.1% of subsequently referred ProfScreen participants engaged in professional treatment. There were no differences between the ProfScreen and control group regarding follow-up service use and at-risk state. Attending the ProfScreen interview was positively associated with follow-up service use (OR = 1.783, 95% CI = 1.038–3.064), but had no effect on follow-up at-risk state. Service use rates of professional care as well as of the ProfScreen intervention itself were low. Future school-based interventions targeting help-seeking need to address barriers to intervention adherence. Clinical Trials Registration: The trial is registered at the US National Institute of Health (NIH) clinical trial registry (NCT00906620, registered on 21 May, 2009), and the German Clinical Trials Register (DRKS00000214, registered on 27 October, 2009).
|Journal||European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry|
|State||Accepted/In press - 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The SEYLE project was supported by the European Union through the Seventh Framework Program (FP7), Grant agreement number HEALTH-F2-2009-223091. The study sponsor had no role in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. SEYLE Project Leader and Principal Investigator is Professor in Psychiatry and Suicidology Danuta Wasserman, National Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention of Mental Ill-Health (NASP) at Karolinska Institutet (KI), Stockholm, Sweden. The Executive Committee comprises Professor Danuta Wasserman and Senior Lecturer Vladimir Carli, both from NASP, KI, Sweden; Professor Marco Sarchiapone from the University of Molise, Italy; Professor Christina W. Hoven, and Anthropologist Camilla Wasserman, both from the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Columbia University and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, US; the SEYLE Consortium comprises sites in twelve European countries. Site leaders are Danuta Wasserman (NASP, Coordinating Centre), Christian Haring (Austria), Airi Varnik (Estonia), Jean-Pierre Kahn (France), Romuald Brunner (Germany), Judit Balazs (Hungary), Paul Corcoran (Ireland), Alan Apter (Israel), Marco Sarchiapone (Italy), Doina Cosman (Romania), Vita Postuvan (Slovenia) and Julio Bobes (Spain). All authors confirm that there is no potential, perceived, or real conflict of interest. Special acknowledgments regarding the study go to all staff and participants that were involved in data collection. We wish to thank the staff of the Vadaskert Child Psychiatric Hospital, Budapest for the collaboration. Special acknowledgments regarding this manuscript go to Katja Klug, Gloria Fischer-Waldschmidt and Lisa Gobelbecker from the University of Heidelberg, Germany, for their extensive help in the development and evaluation of the professional screening procedure during the SEYLE study; and to Radoslaw Panczak from the University of Queensland, Australia, for his inputs regarding statistical methods and analyses.
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. The SEYLE project was supported by the European Union through the Seventh Framework Program (FP7), Grant agreement number HEALTH-F2-2009-223091. The study sponsor had no role in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication.
© 2022, The Author(s).
- Mental health problems
- Risk behaviours
- School-based screening
- Service use
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health