ISSN 2586-0151 (Print)
ISSN 2586-0046 (Online)
Volume 14, Number 2 (2/2018)
Original Article <page. 88-98 >

Mental Health Intervention for Adolescents : A School-Based Program to Address Social Anxiety

Eun-Hye Heo, MA2;Ji-Ae Nam, BA3;Boo-Sung Ko, BA3;Jeong-Eun Kim, MA2;Chang-Hwa Lee, MD, PhD1,2; and Kyeong-Sook Choi, MD, PhD1,2,3;

1;Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eulji University School of Medicine, Daejeon, 2;Department of Neuropsychiatry, Eulji University Hospital, Daejeon, 3;Daedeok-gu Mental Health Center, Daejeon, Korea

Objective : The purpose of this study was to establish a school-based mental health intervention. The success of which was indexed by its effects on the social anxiety symptoms of the enrolled adolescents.

Methods : This program for promoting mental health among adolescents in the community was adopted by three middle schools that volunteered to participate in the project. The program included screening for emotional problems related to social anxiety, depression, suicide, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Case management was provided for groups considered high-risk for depression, suicide, or post-traumatic stress disorder; cognitive-behavior therapy was provided for those at high-risk of developing social anxiety. Additionally, educational programs for the prevention of suicide, a "loving life" module, and mental health promotional campaigns were also included. In total, 1,100 middle school students completed self-report questionnaires. Twenty-five students in the high-risk group for social anxiety participated in a cognitive-behavior therapy program, comprising eight sessions, and conducted by two clinical psychologists.

Results : Following the suicide prevention education program, suicide awareness among students increased and coping strategies were improved. In addition, the loving life program was associated with positive self-perceptions by many students. Furthermore, social anxiety symptoms showed a statistically significant difference after the cognitive-behavior therapy program. After the therapy, not only did social anxiety symptoms improve, depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation decreased significantly, while self-esteem and psychological resilience significantly increased.

Conclusion : A school-based mental health intervention was successfully implemented in three middle schools and improved the mental health of the participating students. Therefore, this intervention could be widely implemented to promote positive mental health among middle school students.

Key words : Mental health intervention;Adolescents;School-based program;Social anxiety;Cognitive behavioral therapy.

Anxiety and Mood

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