Case Synopsis

Due to the fact that there is currently no national youth mental health strategy, each jurisdiction is faced with managing and preventing mental health issues in their communities. Through school-based mental health interventions public health professionals have the potential to impact a large portion of youth in their community in a setting with which youth are already familiar. Susan Miller, a health promoter with the Great Lakes Public Health Unit, has been tasked with making recommendations about what type of mental health intervention should be implemented in the local elementary and high schools. The main objective of this mental health intervention will be to enhance protective factors among youth as well as to decrease the risk factors that can lead to developing further mental health issues in adulthood.

Case Objectives

  1. Follow Public Health Ontario's steps to program planning for a mental health intervention.
  2. Identify barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a school-based mental health intervention.
  3. Apply strategies to involve stakeholders such as parents in a mental health intervention.
  4. Discuss the roles and responsibilities of the various stakeholders in developing an intervention.

Case Study Questions

  1. Which option do you feel is best for an elementary school intervention and for a high school and why?
  2. Which stakeholders should be involved in the different processes of the intervention? Are there any missing from the case? Justify your choice.
  3. Which implementation theory/theories should Susan be using throughout her project? Justify your answer.
  4. List the barriers and facilitators that exist for the implementation of a school-based mental health intervention based on the location of the school (i.e., rural vs urban) in Great Lakes County?
  5. How will the program be evaluated and which organization will head the evaluation process?


school-based mental health, program planning, stakeholder analysis, implementation science

Additional Author Information

Elizabeth Dent, BSc, BSoSc, MPH

Shannon L. Sibbald, PhD, Assistant Professor



Recommended Citation

Dent, E., Sibbald, S.L. (2018). “School, Interrupted”. in: McKinley, G. & Sibbald, S.L. [eds] Western Public Health Casebook 2018. London, ON: Public Health Casebook Publishing.