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School Mental Health: Working Toward a Shared Framework An International Perspective. Cheryl Vince Whitman President, Intercamhs Senior Vice President, EDC Director, WHO Collaborating Center November 5, 2009. Roots of Framework. Alma-Ata Declaration (1978); Ottawa Charter (1986);

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School Mental Health: Working Toward a Shared Framework An International Perspective

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School Mental Health:Working Toward a Shared FrameworkAn International Perspective

Cheryl Vince WhitmanPresident, IntercamhsSenior Vice President, EDCDirector, WHO Collaborating Center

November 5, 2009

Roots of Framework

  • Alma-Ata Declaration (1978);

  • Ottawa Charter (1986);

  • Health Promoting School (Global School Health Initiative 1995-present;

  • WHO Publications on Mental Health Promotion and Prevention of Disorders (2004)

Alma-Ata Declaration 1978

  • Existing gross inequality in the health status of the people particularly between developed and developing countries & within countries is politically, socially and economically

  • unacceptable and is, therefore, of common concern to all countries.

Ottawa Charter 1986

Health is to be created where people live, love, learn, work and play.

WHO’s Health Promoting School

WHO Publications on MH Promotion and Prevention of Disorders

WHO Definition of Mental Health

A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community (WHO 2001a,p.1)

Mental Health Promotion

Creation of individual, social and environmental conditions that enable optimal psychological and psycho-physiological development.

Prevention Mental Disorders

Aims to:

  • reduce the time spent with symptoms or the risk condition for a mental illness;

  • prevent or delay recurrences; and

  • decrease the impact of illness in the affected person, their families& society (Mrazek & Haggerty, 1994)

Conceptual Framework for Action

  • Focus on social and economic determinants of mental health

  • Involve the full range of health promotion methodologies that work at the population and subpopulation levels

  • Engage those working across sectors and settings

How do all these elements apply to a framework and language for schools and mental health?

Intercamhs’ Approach to Mental Health and Schools




(youth at-risk for MH problems)





Health Promoting : Mental Health

Elements of Framework

  • Positive definition mental health;

  • Promotion and Prevention;

  • Whole school approach;

  • Universal, selected, indicated

  • Participation, diversity, inclusive.

Elements of Framework

  • Universal, selected and indicated;

  • Draws on evidence;

  • Poverty and Social and economic factors as determinants;

  • Continuously assesses progress

Contact Details

Cheryl Vince Whitman

President, IntercamhsSenior Vice President, EDCDirector, WHO Collaborating Center

[email protected] Ph: 617-618-2300

EDC-Health and Human Development Division55 Chapel Street, Newton, MA, USA 02458-1060

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