Building resilience in regional youth: Impacts of a universal mental health promotion programme.
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Mental health is a leading health issue facing young people today, particularly those living in rural and regional areas. Although public policy supports schools-based health promotion, there is limited evidence of the efficacy of such programmes and the elements that enhance successful implementation in rural and regional areas. A study was designed to evaluate a mental health promotion programme, delivered collaboratively by nurses, guidance officers, and teachers, to 850 young people from 23 rural and regional high schools in Queensland, Australia. The study aims were to determine what effect the intervention had on young peoples' resilience, coping, and self-efficacy, and to understand the implications of delivering the programme in the regional Queensland school setting. Students completed self-report measures of self-efficacy, resilience, and coping strategies pre- and postprogramme, as well as at 8-week follow-up. We found that after programme completion there was a significant increase in self-efficacy and in the number of positive coping strategies used by the participating young people. Qualitative data indicated that participants benefited from the collaboration between health and education sectors; that is, nurses, guidance officers, and teachers delivered the programme together in ways that were perceived to be respectful of young people and effectively discussion-based, and engaging.
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