Perspectives from teachers and school leaders about long-term sustainability: A challenge for mental health promotion initiatives in educational settings
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The chapters in this book report research into a range of programs, across many countries, which have as their central concern the promotion of young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Funding has been directed towards introducing programs into primary schools, secondary schools and early childhood centres to develop young people’s mental health and wellbeing. These have included initiatives such as regular social and emotional education for all children, establishment of more effective and efficient referral pathways, and working collaboratively with parents/carers to support children and youth. During the initial phases of these initiatives, attention has been directed towards designing and testing good quality evidence-based programs. As efficacious programs have been rolled-out, attention has turned to achieving good quality implementation of program components. Now, as the field has matured, the key issue that emerges is the sustainability of programs once the initial implementation phases are over, and start-up resources (often substantial) are withdrawn. This issue of sustainability is of concern across international boundaries. In this chapter I report a research project that investigates teachers’ and school leaders’ perspectives about what has worked, and what has not worked, in achieving sustainability of wellbeing and mental health promotion initiatives in educational settings.