Policy Brief Discussion 1: Are the Children Well?

Is this really a shift from illness to promotion of wellness?

The point is that mental health policy needs to effectively develop a full intervention continuum: (1) promotion of mental health, (2) a focus on prevention of MH related problems, (3) a focus on responding as early after the onset of problems as is feasible, and (4) enhanced systems of care.


It also needs to encompass a sophisticated approach to the role of schools. It is especially essential not to present wellness as another separate initiative for schools. This will exacerbate the existing counterproductive competition for sparse resources and the continuing marginalization of efforts to develop the full intervention continuum.


All efforts to enhance wellness need to focus on embedding the work into school improvement policy and practice as part of a unified, comprehensive, and equitable system. For example:

>MH in Schools: New Directions http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/contschpsych.pdf

>Transforming Student and Learning Supports: Trailblazing Initiatives! http://smhp.psych.ucla.edu/pdfdocs/newsletter/summer14.pdf