August 2005

International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools
Newsletter – August 2005

Welcome to the fourth e-newsletter of Intercamhs. The newsletter is now available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Click the link below are read or download the newsletter:

INTERCAMHS – August 2005 Newsletter




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General Information

Research and Data

Planning Tools

General Information

Mental Health: Strengthening Mental Health Promotion

(WHO, 2001) The World Health Organization offers definitions of “mental health”, elements of strong mental health promotion policies and programs, and related WHO initiatives.

Research and Data

WHO Mental Health Atlas

(WHO, 2005) “To mark World Mental Health Day, 10 October, the World Health Organization publishes the newly updated World Health Organization Mental Health Atlas 2005. It shows that global resources for people suffering from mental and neurological disorders are grossly insufficient to address the growing burden of mental health needs, and are unequally distributed around the world.”

Mental Health: Strengthening Mental Health Promotion

(WFMH, 2004) Results of survey done on families of children with ADHD across Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, Spain, UK and USA. Data shows high level of parent concern about impact of ADHD on child’s social and academic development. Also indicates average time to acquire diagnosis was 2 years. Summary of key findings available for each country; Report and PPT available in English, Spanish, German Russian.

Without Boundaries

(WFMH, 2004) This article appears as the first chapter in the book “Building academic success on social and emotional learning”. Authors discuss the various domains which define SEL (social and emotional learning), including: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management and relationship management. Zins et al offer key recommendations for addressing SEL in a school setting through: SEL-targeted curricula, integrating SEL skill building in school, promoting a supportive environment, altering the instructional approach to integrate SEL, creating partnerships between parents, teachers and students, and involving students experientially in the learning process.

The Scientific Base Linking Social and Emotional Learning to Academic Success

(CASEL, 2004) This article appears as the first chapter in the book “Building academic success on social and emotional learning”. Authors discuss the various domains which define SEL (social and emotional learning), including: self-awareness, social awareness, responsible decision making, self-management and relationship management. Zins et al offer key recommendations for addressing SEL in a school setting through: SEL-targeted curricula, integrating SEL skill building in school, promoting a supportive environment, altering the instructional approach to integrate SEL, creating partnerships between parents, teachers and students, and involving students experientially in the learning process.

Planning Tools

Creating an Environment for Social and Emotional Wellbeing

(EDC, 2003) A Psychosocial Environment assessment tool for schools to determine how supportive schools are to girls and boys. Tool can be used by teachers, administrators or other staff to assess 7 “quality areas”:

  • Providing a friendly, rewarding and supportive atmosphere;
  • Supporting cooperation and active learning;
  • Forbidding physical punishment and violence;
  • Not tolerating bullying, harassment and discrimination;
  • Valuing the development of creative activities;
  • Connecting school and homelife through involving parents;
  • Promoting equal opportunities and participation in decision-making.

Includes tools for discussion of results with parents and other community members.

Council for Global Education Website

This site describes a model which can be useful to frame efforts to prevent violence in a school or community. Building on principles of character education, this model goes further to suggest that educatio should also encompass “universal values, global understanding, excellence in all things, and service to humanity.”. Maintains a list of organizations that promote peace in many countries around the world.

Health Schools website/ Siteweb Ecoles Saines and

This site describes comprehensive school health (CSH) — also called “health promoting schools” and “coordinated school health” in other parts of the world. Offers a library of information on the elements of a CSH program, guidelines to develop school policies, and tools to assess progress. Practitioners will find practical guides, lesson plans and webquests for use with youth. This site offers a subscription to an online newsletter summarizing key information and trends. Available in both French and English.

European Network of Health Promoting Schools

Supported by WHO Europe, Council of Europe and the European Commission, this organization publishes on issues related to a “health promoting school”– implementing practices to achieve a health promoting school; “Alcohol use among young Europeans”; manuals on healthy eating; guides for evaluation.



Directory of Members

Members from all over the globe have completed the Intercamhs member survey. Close to 60% of survey respondents’ work in schools. Other settings where members work include NGO’s, colleges and universities, government agencies, and health centers and hospitals.

According to respondents, the major problem that members face in their daily work is lack of funding. Other issues identified include: lack of understanding of the link between mental health and academic outcomes; and fragmentation of services.

Members come from several countries including Australia, England, Iceland, Jamaica, U.S., and Japan. [See more preliminary survey results

If you have not yet completed the survey, please do! We need to hear about your ideas and interests. [Take the survey

Here is a directory of Intercamhs’ members, sorted alphabetically by countries of residence and then by last name.The directory is available in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. Click the link below to access the directory:

INTERCAMHS Directory of Members



International Alliance for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and Schools

If you would like to contact Intercamhs, you can do so by email or post.

By email
By post Intercamhs
Education Development Center, Inc.
Health and Human Development Programs
55 Chapel Street
Newton, MA 02458-1060

EDC, Secretariat for Intercamhs, is an international non-profit organization dedicated to applying research and development strategies to health, education, and social justice issues. For more information about EDC, visit

To learn more about EDC’s health programs, visit



International Meeting Report

Auckland, New Zealand – September 2004


The second Intercamhs International Meeting, held in Auckland, New Zealand, in September, included presentations on different aspects of mental health and schools

The opening presentation was given by Dr Paul Brounstein from the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), which generously provided the seed money to launch Intercamhs and made this meeting possible. He spoke of the key role of schools in promoting and protecting the mental health of a community. Although his remarks were set in a US context, his message was internationally relevant. Here is a summary:

Transforming the Mental Health System in America: Schools are Integral

Paul J. Brounstein, Ph.D. Senior Public Health Advisor, Center for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, USA

The final report of the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health, Achieving the Promise: Transforming Mental Health Care in America, has made clear that the current Mental Health System “is broken.” The report asserts: “To achieve the promise of community living for everyone, new service delivery patterns and incentives must ensure that every American has easy and continuous access to the most current treatments and best support services. In a transformed system, consumers and family members will have access to timely and accurate information that promotes learning, self-monitoring, and accountability. Health care providers will rely on up-to-date knowledge to provide optimum care for the best outcomes.” This simple statement, if followed by action, will require that Federal, State, and local institutions providing relevant services rethink mental illness as affecting (and affected by) individuals living within family systems, existing within community systems, which in turn are nested within policy and funding systems at the state and Federal level.

Schools and faith-based institutions once played a central role in the life of communities across America. These social hubs provided time and place for sharing and reinforcing social values, providing sometimes formal, sometimes informal screening activities for health and well-being, and served as a source of referral and assistance for individuals or families in need. However, changing demographics; mobility; technology-inspired isolation; vagaries in the public budget; and the rising cost of living that requires caretakers to work more hours at more jobs have all led to a decrease in the role that social institutions play in helping to ensure individual, familial and community physical and mental well-being.

To succeed, transformation efforts must take advantage of schools being a nexus point for children and parents/caretakers. Schools need to be re-engaged, through workforce development and by their embracing and acting on the knowledge that physical and mental health are required for improving school morale/climate, safety/security and academic achievement. As part of the transformation effort, states will be encouraged to ensure schools broaden their efforts and abilities to effect screening, early intervention and referral as appropriate, and build into their institutions a lasting knowledge that academic achievement, as the primary goal of the educational system, cannot itself be achieved if individuals and families do not receive the assistance they may need regarding their mental health. Schools again need to take up the mantle of a caring and involved community hub.


Here are brief summaries of the other six presentations, together with details of where to find further information about them.

Partnerships for Sustainability

Prof Louise Rowling, President, Intercamhs

A mantra for action in the health field is: Think globally, Act locally. For Intercamhs, a reversal of this statement, Think locally, Act globally, exemplifies our work. We come from diverse countries and perspectives. We have our own local knowledge, but endeavour to pool that knowledge and share and synthesize it for global action. This necessitates partnerships.

There already exist partnerships between sectors such as justice, health and education. These have developed due to knowledge of the common influencing factors for crime, drug use and low academic achievement. Mental health professionals acting alone will not enhance learning or strengthen schools. There needs to be some sense of working for the sustainability of school based mental health. Sustainability must be considered at the beginning of action with schools. At the heart of sustainability is building the capacity and confidence of stakeholders, utilising their different strengths and priorities and celebrating the diversity of perspectives, not trying to implement a standard project. Five elements for partnerships are: shared vision; leadership; resources; time; and organisational development.

Intercamhs is developing a structure so that our combined voices – including those from less resourced countries – can influence political agendas.

More information:

Overview of Deployment Family Support to the U.S. Army 25th Infantry Division

Dr Michael Faran, Tripler Army Medical Centre, Hawaii, USA

The 25th Infantry Division, which is based in Hawaii, has deployed for a projected 13-month tour in two waves involving over 10,000 soldiers: the first half left in January to Iraq and the second half left in March/April to Afghanistan. Approximately 25,000 family members, including about 800 pregnant mothers remained behind, most of whom have stayed within the state. Military children and their families face several unique challenges in Hawaii: they are isolated by several thousand miles from relatives, live in a culturally divergent community, and face a very high cost of living. A multidisciplinary system coordinating various agencies was developed to provide a wide range of support to children and adults and is unique to the Army. This presentation provided an overview of ongoing efforts to care for military families during the deployments. It included brief descriptions of the school based mental health program, support to the Family Readiness Groups, the extensive outreach of Army Community Services and the coordinated behavioral health support at Tripler.

More information:

East meets West – promoting the mental health of all children

Chris Bale, Director, Partnership for Children, UK

Zippy’s Friends is a whole-class mental health promotion programme which focuses on teaching coping skills to six and seven year olds. It is running in schools and kindergartens in six countries and more than 20,000 children have taken part. Evaluation results are strong and further major expansion is expected in 2005.

The experience of launching the programme on three continents may be useful in the development of other international programmes. Among the lessons learned are:

  • · Cultural adaptation is much less of an issue with young children than it might be with teenagers.
  • · All over the world, there is huge pressure on the school curriculum, even for very young children.
  • · Delivery structures and funding sources vary enormously from country to country.
  • · If we want to make progress in promoting the mental health of children around the world, we must look at low cost models.
  • Zippy’s Friends is beginning to show that it is possible to develop truly international, cross-cultural programmes that produce real benefits for children. Initially, it’s an expensive exercise, but in the long-term it makes good resources available to countries and schools that would never be able to develop them alone.

More information:

Digital Learning: Interactive Multimedia and Mental Health Literacy

Reg Davis, Senior Clinical Psychologist/School-Link Coordinator, Central Coast Health, NSW Australia

Mental health promotion in schools is a challenge – how to communicate accurate up-to-date information, how to raise issues that challenge beliefs and attitudes, and how to engage young peoples’ interest in issues relating to emotional wellbeing. It involves developing an emotional literacy that allows self understanding and an ability to relate to others which enhances social connection and relatedness.

Interactive multimedia is increasingly being used to promote mental health because it enables young people to use skills acquired through computer gaming, including spatial recognition, multi-tasking, enhanced attention capacity, and the ability to rehearse decision making and problem solving in low-threat virtual environments. It is visually engaging, action oriented, self-paced and able to be repeated again and again. It also matches the social culture of youth with its focus on intensive multimedia experiences, and engages young peoples’ imagination and creativity.

Multimedia games have been used in education around physical illnesses, such as diabetes and asthma. They are increasingly relevant for mental health – around specific issues like reducing stigma, as clinical tools for treating depression, and to promote resilience with students in transition from primary to middle school.

More information:

Cultural Diversity Training for Mental Health Staff

Jenni Jennings and Ben Anderson, Youth and Family Services, Dallas Public Schools, Texas, USA

Jenni Jennings and Ben Anderson presented a 20-minute session on their cognitive contextual model of group work. The focus of the session was one of the ten sessions in the series. The session was interactive with the conference attendees, who participated in a Peer Pressure activity that involved a multi-sensory approach to enhance learning. Jenni and Ben discussed their cognitive contextual model that includes:

  • · Orientation to the present and future
  • · Emphasis on fun, play and laughter as learning/healing tools
  • · Offering structure as a viable solution
  • · Offering clear and direct guidance.
  • Feedback was positive, and two groups from Australia and one group from Ireland were interested in learning more about the work at future conferences.

More information:

Providing Mental Health for Traumatized Former Child Slaves, Prostitutes and Soldiers

Patrick Schoof, Executive Director, Youth Advocate Program International

The presentation began with an introduction to the State of the World’s Exploited Children (the worst forms of child labor, including hazardous labor and enslavement, the commercial sexual exploitation of children, and the use of children in conflict) to assist attendees in understanding that these atrocities are common worldwide, and are growing numerically and geographically.

Attendees were then informed that the children who escape these atrocities, by whatever means, rarely have services available to them (transitional homes, counseling, trauma and rehabilitation services, and reintegration facilities and programs). As a result, many of these children have a difficult time adjusting to their previous lives, their families and their communities, and often grow up to become traumatized adults.

Hence, the presenter introduced the idea of developing a partnership between the mental health community and non-governmental organizations. The partnership would be to design strategies and plans to better aid these children, and then write international program grants that would be better designed and more likely to receive funding than a single-sector approach.

More information:




Intercamhs’ vision is that mental health will be addressed through collaborative interdisciplinary whole school approaches for all school community members across nations.

Our Guiding Principles are that:

  • The term ‘mental health’ should imply not only the consideration of mental illnesses and problems but also a positive state of emotional, social and cognitive well being in individuals, groups and communities.
  • Mental health is viewed from a holistic perspective, recognising the interconnectedness of the physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological, as well as the social environment of school, family and community.
  • In the school context, a coordinated ‘whole school approach’ to mental health teaching and learning is needed, linking curriculum to school culture and ethos, management and organisation and to partnerships with communities, service providers and families.
  • Respect and sensitivity to cultural diversity and different skills and values, needs and experiences underpin collaborative activities across school communities, local communities and nation states.
  • Work in mental health needs to: fully involve all participants in the process, including school staff, school students and parents; encourage genuine dialogue between parties; and foster a sense of empowerment and autonomy.
  • Addressing mental health through schools in a comprehensive way involves a full range of levels of intervention, from mental health promotion for everyone, to targeted prevention and early intervention.
  • Effective school mental health interventions involve interdisciplinary practice necessitating coordination between a wide range of agencies, both government and not for profit, where different perspectives, approaches and goals are respected.
  • Positive mental health supports school quality and effectiveness, including promotion of meaningful learning and teaching by students and staff.
  • · As far as possible practice needs to build on ‘evidence based’ approaches, which involve appropriate use of a range of methods from both qualitative and quantitative research paradigms.

Intercamhs aims to:

  • Develop and adopt a common language of terms related to mental health in schools.
  • Build communication mechanisms between people interested or involved in school-based mental health in different countries.
  • Encourage dialogue, the sharing of lessons learned, collaborative activities and mutual support among people and programs in different countries.
  • Enhance interdisciplinary approaches to school-based health care.
  • Promote the advancement of a strategic research agenda and collaborative research among people and programs in different countries.
  • Foster the development of advocacy agendas, coalitions and policy improvements in areas vital to the advancement of mental health in schools.
  • Raise awareness of the mental health needs of youth and the value of school-based programs in helping youth, schools and communities achieve desired outcomes.
  • Stimulate increased funding and improved capacity to provide a full continuum of mental health promotion, early intervention and treatment services in schools.


Upcoming Mental Health Conferences
Updated August 4, 2005

Download in Adobe Acrobat format


Location Organizer Title


August 30 –  September 2

Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia

The Mental Health Services Conference (The MHS) 15th annual conference

Dancing to the Beat of a Different Drum – Mental Health, Social Inclusion, Citizenship

August 31- September 2 King’s College London, UK International Mental Health Second Annual Conference,

Mental Health and the Millennium Development Goals’

Sept 4-8, 2005

Cairo, Egypt

28th Biennial Congress of the World Federation for Mental Health

Equity and Mental Health

September 13 – 16

Durban, South Africa

International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)


Scaling the Summit: Suicidal Behaviour in Diverse Cultures

September 20- 25

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Canadian Mental Health Association

Making Mental Health Matter

September 20-24

Seville, Spain 1st Congress of the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research (ISCAR)

Acting in Changing Worlds: Learning, Communication, and Minds in Intercultural Activities

September 20 – 24

Stockholm, Sweden International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP)

International Psychogeriatric Association 12th Congress

“Aging with Dignity. new challenges, new possibilities, new solutions”

Sept. 22-23

Paris, France

European Conference on Child and Adolescents Mental Health in Educational Settings

September 23-25

Athens, Greece

European Congress

From Parents to Children: The impact mental illness on their children

September 24-28

Dublin, Ireland

The European Brain and Behaviour Society Meeting

September 28-  October 2 Crown Promenade Hotel, Melbourne, Australia Australian Psychological Society (APS)

40th Annual Australian Psychological Society (APS) Conference

October 8 – 11

Washington, DC, USA American Academy of Pediatrics

National Conference and Exhibition

October 18 – 23

Toronto, Canada American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) and Council of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (CACAP)

October 20-23 Woodland Hills, California, USA Association of Educational Therapists 27th Annual National Conference Educational Therapy: Empowering Individuals with Learning Challenges

October 27-29

Cleveland, Ohio, USA

10th Annual Conference on Advancing School-Based Mental Health

Effective School Mental Health Practice: Building a Shared Agenda with Schools, Communities and Families

November 2-3 Fresno, CA., USA Cultural Competence & Mental Health Summit XIII

November 6 – 8

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Safe Communities Foundation

Canadian Injury Prevention and Safety Promotion Conference

November 7-10

Las Vegas, NV

18th Annual

U.S. Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress

November 10-13

Manly NSW, Australia

17th Annual Conference. Australia & NewZealand Association of Psychotherapy

The Unconscious Now: Self, Relatedness and Consciousness

November 17 – 20

Washington, DC, USA

39th Annual Conference, Association for Advancement of Behavior Therapy (AABT)

November 18 – 20

Washington, D.C., USA

17th Annual Conference Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health


March 1-4 New Orleans, Louisiana, USA LDA 43rd Annual International Conference

March 2 – 5

St. Petersburg, FL, USA

American Psychology-Law Society

APLS 2006 Annual Conference

May 14-16

University Park, PA, USA

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development and The Penn State Women’s Studies Program Beijing Ten Years Later
July 3 – 6

Melbourne, Australia

International Society for the Study of Behavioral Development

July 8-11

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 15th Biennial International Conference on Infant Studies
July (TBD)

Athens,  Greece

26th International Congress of Applied Psychology


August 10 – 13

New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

114th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA)

October 11- 13

Oslo, Norway

The Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental and Behavioral Disorders (GCAPP) Fourth World Conference: Developing Resilience and Strength Across the Lifespan

February 14-17

Pittsburgh, PA

LDA 44th Annual International Conference
March 29 – April 1

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Biennial Meeting of the Society for Research in Child Development

August 16 – 19 San Francisco, California USA 112th Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association (APA)

Feb. 27- March 1

Chicago, IL LDA 45th Annual International Conference

July 20 – 25

Berlin, Germany XXIX International Congress of Psychology


About Intercamhs

What is it?

Intercamhs is an international network of agencies and individuals who believe that addressing mental health issues in schools is vitally important to the wellbeing of school community members.

What is its Vision?

Intercamhs’ vision is that mental health will be addressed through collaborative interdisciplinary whole school approaches for all school community members across nations.

What does it do?

Intercamhs brings together experience and expertise from all over the world with the aim of enhancing the wellbeing of children and young people.

It promotes the international exchange of ideas and experience and acts as a meeting place for a wide range of educationalists, mental health experts and other professionals interested in mental health.

Intercamhs aims to raise awareness of the mental health needs of children and young people and the ways in which service providers can meet their needs. It also aims to support parents and teachers in their actions to strengthen the health and well being of those in their care.

Does it focus on a particular aspect of mental health?

No. Intercamhs believes that mental health promotion, early intervention and treatment are all important. It works to strengthen these activities for all children of school age.



International Meeting Report
Portland, Oregon – October 2003

Forty three delegates from around the world gathered in Portland, Oregon, in October for Intercamhs’ first international meeting. The discussions served to highlight many of the most pressing issues in child and adolescent mental health worldwide.

Members’ presentations about their work covered a wide range of services and programmes – from a study of over-indulged children in Canada, to a mental health promotion programme for teenagers in New Zealand; from a mental health awareness campaign in Iceland, to concern about the mental health of schoolteachers in Germany. Click here to read a summary of all the presentations.

intercamhs.membersSeated from left: Michael Murray, Mark Weist – Board Liaison Officer, Louise Rowling – President, and Dóra Guðrun Guðmundsdóttir – Secretary

Standing from left: Elizabeth Moore – Project Associate, Pauline Dickinson, Mary Byrne, Leyla Ismayilova, Cheryl Vince Whitman, Peter Paulus, Chris Bale and Katherine Weare

Two of the key points to emerge from the meeting were the need for common language and key terms in mental health and the need for better exchange of information and more collaboration.

The Portland meeting was organized by the Center for School Mental Health Assistance (CSMHA) at the University of Maryland. Funding for both the International Meeting and the Board meeting was generously provided by the US Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)