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Introduction to Special Issue of Adolescent Psychiatry-- Adolescent Mental Health Promotion through a Global Framework


Caroline Clauss-Ehlers * and Mark D. Weist  


Background: An overview of the status of adolescent mental health promotion from an international context is provided including considerations for low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) as well as developed nations. The role of stigma and a lack of structured systems to support child and adolescent mental health (CAMH) are discussed.

Objective: Examples of current mental health promotion for adolescents across nations will be presented. Strategies to address unmet needs and build capacity with regard to global adolescent mental health are considered.

Methods: Seven articles make up this special issue (including this introduction). A range of methods are presented to address global considerations in adolescent mental health. These include empirical studies, literature reviews, regional case studies, and intervention models.

Results: Building mental health literacy is presented as one strategy to build capacity and address gaps in mental health services for adolescents (Article 2); the status of adolescent mental health services from a Latin American context are presented (Article 3); results of an intervention study with adolescents from an under-resourced community in Northern England are shared (Article 4); a theory of change regarding the important role of family/school partnerships on proximal and distal outcomes is considered (Article 5); an intercept recruitment strategy is used to examine the experience of bias motivated victimization among adolescents (Article 6); and the important role of training professionals in adolescent prevention science is reviewed (Article 7).

Conclusion: The prevalence of mental health issues among adolescents, along with the need to build capacity, underscores the reality that adolescent mental health is a key burden of disease issue for the 21st century. It is recommended that global mental health promotion for adolescents is prioritized worldwide.


Adolescent mental health, adolescence, international mental health, building capacity


Ed Psych Department, Rutgers University, Graduate School of Education, Rutgers University, 10 Seminary Place , University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina

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