International Journal of School Health

Published by: Kowsar

Should Mental Health Be Addressed in Schools? Preliminary Views of In-School Adolescents in Ibadan, Nigeria

Tolulope Bella-Awusah 1 , 2 , * , Cornelius Ani 3 , Ademola Ajuwon 4 and Olayinka Omigbodun 1 , 2
Authors Information
1 Department of Psychiatry, College of Medicine University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
2 Centre for Child and Adolescent Mental Health University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
3 Academic Unit of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Imperial College London, London, England
4 Department of Health Promotion and Education, College of Medicine University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
Article information
  • International Journal of School Health: April 30, 2019, 6 (2); e85937
  • Published Online: April 10, 2019
  • Article Type: Research Article
  • Received: October 31, 2018
  • Revised: November 6, 2018
  • Accepted: January 2, 2019
  • DOI: 10.5812/intjsh.85937

How to Cite: Bella-Awusah T, Ani C, Ajuwon A, Omigbodun O. Should Mental Health Be Addressed in Schools? Preliminary Views of In-School Adolescents in Ibadan, Nigeria, Int J School Health. 2019 ; 6(2):e85937. doi: 10.5812/intjsh.85937.

Copyright © 2019, International Journal of School Health. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License ( which permits copy and redistribute the material just in noncommercial usages, provided the original work is properly cited.
1. Background
2. Objectives
3. Methods
4. Results
5. Discussion
  • 1. World Health Organization . Promoting health through schools report of a WHO expert committee on comprehensive school health education and promotion. 1997.
  • 2. Rowling L, Weist M. Promoting the growth, improvement and sustainability of school mental health programs worldwide. Int J Ment Health Promot. 2012;6(2):3-11. doi: 10.1080/14623730.2004.9721925.
  • 3. Weist MD, Bruns EJ, Whitaker K, Wei Y, Kutcher S, Larsen T, et al. School mental health promotion and intervention: Experiences from four nations. Sch Psychol Int. 2017;38(4):343-62. doi: 10.1177/0143034317695379.
  • 4. Atilola O, Ola B. Towards school mental health programmes in Nigeria: Systematic review revealed the need for contextualised and culturally-nuanced research. J Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2016;28(1):47-70. doi: 10.2989/17280583.2016.1144607. [PubMed: 27088276].
  • 5. Omigbodun O, Dogra N, Esan O, Adedokun B. Prevalence and correlates of suicidal behaviour among adolescents in southwest Nigeria. Int J Soc Psychiatry. 2008;54(1):34-46. doi: 10.1177/0020764007078360. [PubMed: 18309757].
  • 6. Ibeziako PI, Omigbodun OO, Bella TT. Assessment of need for a school-based mental health programme in Nigeria: Perspectives of school administrators. Int Rev Psychiatry. 2008;20(3):271-80. doi: 10.1080/09540260802000354. [PubMed: 18569179].
  • 7. UNESCO . Institute of statistics. 2017. Available from: http:/
  • 8. Murphy JM, Guzman J, McCarthy AE, Squicciarini AM, George M, Canenguez KM, et al. Mental health predicts better academic outcomes: A longitudinal study of elementary school students in Chile. Child Psychiatry Hum Dev. 2015;46(2):245-56. doi: 10.1007/s10578-014-0464-4. [PubMed: 24771270]. [PubMed Central: PMC4443903].
  • 9. Weist MD, Rubin M, Moore E, Adelsheim S, Wrobel G. Mental health screening in schools. J Sch Health. 2007;77(2):53-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1746-1561.2007.00167.x. [PubMed: 17222155].
  • 10. Ibeziako P, Bella T, Omigbodun O, Belfer M. Teachers' perspectives of mental health needs in Nigerian schools. J Child Adolesc Ment Health. 2009;21(2):147-56. doi: 10.2989/JCAMH.2009. [PubMed: 25865724].
  • 11. Weiss B, Ngo VK, Dang HM, Pollack A, Trung LT, Tran CV, et al. A model for sustainable development of child mental health infrastructure in the LMIC world: Vietnam as a case example. Int Perspect Psychol. 2012;1(1):63-77. doi: 10.1037/a0027316. [PubMed: 24701368]. [PubMed Central: PMC3971880].
  • 12. Franklin B. The new handbook of children's rights: Comparative policy and practice. London: Routledge; 2001.
  • 13. Smith C. Children's rights: Have carers abandoned values? Children. 1997;11(1):3-15. doi: 10.1111/j.1099-0860.1997.tb00002.x.
  • 14. Al‐Obaidi AK, Nelson BD, Al Badawi G, Hicks MHR, Guarino AJ. Child mental health and service needs in Iraq: Beliefs and attitudes of primary school teachers. Child Adol Ment H. 2012;18(3):171-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-3588.2012.00670.x.
  • 15. Patel V, Chowdhary N, Rahman A, Verdeli H. Improving access to psychological treatments: Lessons from developing countries. Behav Res Ther. 2011;49(9):523-8. doi: 10.1016/j.brat.2011.06.012. [PubMed: 21788012]. [PubMed Central: PMC3242164].
  • 16. Robertson B, Omigbodun O, Gaddour N. Child and adolescent psychiatry in Africa: Luxury or necessity? Afr J Psychiatry (Johannesbg). 2010;13(5):329-31. [PubMed: 21390404].
  • 17. Larsson I, Staland-Nyman C, Svedberg P, Nygren JM, Carlsson IM. Children and young people's participation in developing interventions in health and well-being: A scoping review. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018;18(1):507. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3219-2. [PubMed: 29954392]. [PubMed Central: PMC6027768].
  • 18. Bella-Awusah T, Ani C, Ajuwon A, Omigbodun O. Effectiveness of brief school-based, group cognitive behavioural therapy for depressed adolescents in south west Nigeria. Child Adol Ment H. 2016;21(1):44-50. doi: 10.1111/camh.12104.
  • 19. M. Ademokun O, O. Osungbade K, A. Obembe T. A qualitative study on status of implementation of school health programme in south western Nigeria: Implications for healthy living of school age children in developing countries. Am J Educ Res. 2014;2(11):1076-87. doi: 10.12691/education-2-11-12.
  • 20. Attkinsson C, Greenfield T. The USCF client satisfaction scales: 1. The client satisfaction questionnaire - 8. The use of psychological testing for treatment planning and outcome assessment. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 2004. p. 799-812.
  • 21. Braun V, Clarke V. Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qual Res Psychol. 2006;3(2):77-101. doi: 10.1191/1478088706qp063oa.
  • 22. Federal Ministry of Education . National School Health Policy. 2006, [cited 12 Dec]. Available from:
  • 23. Obembe TA, Osungbade KO, Ademokun OM. Awareness and knowledge of National School Health Policy and School Health Programme among public secondary school teachers in Ibadan metropolis. Niger Med J. 2016;57(4):217-25. doi: 10.4103/0300-1652.188341. [PubMed: 27630385]. [PubMed Central: PMC4995813].
  • 24. Kuponiyi OT, Amoran OE, Kuponiyi OT. School health services and its practice among public and private primary schools in Western Nigeria. BMC Res Notes. 2016;9:203. doi: 10.1186/s13104-016-2006-6. [PubMed: 27048551]. [PubMed Central: PMC4822242].
  • 25. Gureje O, Lasebikan VO, Ephraim-Oluwanuga O, Olley BO, Kola L. Community study of knowledge of and attitude to mental illness in Nigeria. Br J Psychiatry. 2005;186:436-41. doi: 10.1192/bjp.186.5.436. [PubMed: 15863750].
  • 26. Dogra N, Omigbodun O, Adedokun T, Bella T, Ronzoni P, Adesokan A. Nigerian secondary school children's knowledge of and attitudes to mental health and illness. Clin Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2012;17(3):336-53. doi: 10.1177/1359104511410804. [PubMed: 21852317].
  • 27. Ola B, Suren R, Ani C. Depressive symptoms among children whose parents have serious mental illness: Association with children’s threat-related beliefs about mental illness. S Afr J Psychi. 2015;21(3):5. doi: 10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v21i3.680.
  • 28. Oduguwa AO, Adedokun B, Omigbodun OO. Effect of a mental health training programme on Nigerian school pupils' perceptions of mental illness. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health. 2017;11:19. doi: 10.1186/s13034-017-0157-4. [PubMed: 28405216]. [PubMed Central: PMC5385018].
  • 29. AAP Committee on School Health . School-based mental health services. J Pediatr. 2004;113(6):1839-45. doi: 10.1542/peds.113.6.1839.
  • 30. Ofili AN, Usiholo EA, Oronsaye MO. Psychological morbidity, job satisfaction and intentions to quit among teachers in private secondary schools in Edo-State, Nigeria. Ann Afr Med. 2009;8(1):32-7. [PubMed: 19763004].
  • 31. Ekore R, Ajuwon A, Abdulmalik J, Bella-Awusah T. Developing mental health peer counselling services for undergraduate students of a Nigerian University: A pilot study. IFE Psychologia: An Int J Psycholol Afr. 2016;24(2):246-58.
  • 32. Adebayo O, Labiran A, Emerenini CF, Omoruyi L. Health workforce for 2016-2030: Will Nigeria have enough? Inter J Inn Heal Res. 2016;4(1):9-16.
  • 33. Rajaraman D, Travasso S, Chatterjee A, Bhat B, Andrew G, Parab S, et al. The acceptability, feasibility and impact of a lay health counsellor delivered health promoting schools programme in India: A case study evaluation. BMC Health Serv Res. 2012;12:127. doi: 10.1186/1472-6963-12-127. [PubMed: 22630607]. [PubMed Central: PMC3461450].
  • 34. Werner-Seidler A, Perry Y, Calear AL, Newby JM, Christensen H. School-based depression and anxiety prevention programs for young people: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Clin Psychol Rev. 2017;51:30-47. doi: 10.1016/j.cpr.2016.10.005. [PubMed: 27821267].

Featured Image:

Creative Commons License Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 4.0 International License .

Search Relations:



Create Citiation Alert
via Google Reader

Readers' Comments