This chapter describes the development, implementation and evaluation of
‘Mind Out’ a curriculum-based module promoting positive mental health
amongst 15-18 years olds in the Irish school setting.
The health promoting school framework includes the curriculum as one of
its three major components (WHO, 1997). Traditional topic-based approaches to
health education have, however, been found to be of limited value (Mentality
2001; Lister-Sharp et al., 1999). Instead, multi-component programmes that
target multiple health outcomes in the context of a co-ordinated whole-school
approach have been found to be the most consistently effective (Patton et al., 2002;
Greenberg et al., 2001a). According to this framework, preventive interventions are
directed at risk and protective factors rather than at specific problem behaviours,
and the focus is on the promotion of resourcefulness and generic coping skills.
Such an approach calls for comprehensive classroom-based health education
programmes, developing broad-based skills and social competencies that
address the predictors of multiple health behaviours in young people. Within
this context there is an opportunity to apply generic personal and social skills to
defined topics. One such area is mental health.