Supporting Adolescents with Mental Health Problems in Secondary Education: Feasibility of a Supported Education Intervention

Lindy Beukema, Jacomijn Hofstra, Sijmen A Reijneveld, Andrea F. de Winter, Lies Korevaar

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Mental health problems in adolescence can have a profound influence on school functioning, educational attainment and thus future societal participation. Supported education (SEd) is a potentially useful method for educational professionals to help adolescents with mental health problems in secondary school improve their functioning by stimulating collaboration, ownership, and participation. In this study, we examined the feasibility of SEd in secondary education by examining its acceptability, implementation, and preliminary effectiveness. We performed a mixed-methods study using quantitative data (questionnaires) and qualitative data (interviews) from educational professionals (EP) and adolescents, aged 13–17, about their experiences with a SEd intervention. Regarding the acceptability of the intervention, three main themes emerged: (a) structure, (b) autonomy, and (c) applicability of the intervention. Themes regarding the implementation were: (a) lack of time, (b) personal attitude, (c) mastery, and (d) complexity of the school environment. The findings show that, for those that followed the intervention, SEd is a promising approach to support adolescents with mental health problems to improve their functioning and participation in school. Further research is needed on the effectiveness of the intervention.
This article belongs to the Special Issue Children and Young People’s Participation in Health and Well-Being.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational journal of environmental research and public health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022


  • mental health
  • adolescents
  • secondary school
  • participation
  • feasibility
  • intervention


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