Diffusing innovation and motivating change: Adopting a student-led and whole-school approach to mental health promotion

Ling Yu Anna WONG, Samantha SZETO, Daniel W. M. LUNG, Paul S. F. YIP

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Research suggests that a whole-school approach to mental health promotion can be more effective than a compartmentalized approach. In particular, student-led initiatives have demonstrated a positive impact on students' mental health, though not without systemic and individual barriers. Factors that lead to successful implementation and sustaining of student-led initiatives are currently not well understood. 

METHODS: A case study is presented to demonstrate how a student-led intervention came about, inspired changes in the school organization and members, and transformed the school's approach to mental health promotion. Analysis of in-depth interviews with student leaders and adult advisors was informed by theories of innovation diffusion and human motivation. 

RESULTS: Key factors and mechanisms of change were identified for the initiation, transformation, and institutionalization stages of the student-led initiative. Changes in students' identity and adult advisors' mindset were found to be integral to the successful conversion to a whole-school approach in mental health promotion. 

CONCLUSIONS: This study confirms the value of mobilizing the student body as an active resource in promoting mental health in school and the importance of input from school management, advisors, and intervention expert. Recommendations on how to implement a student-led initiative and sustain the positive changes are given. Copyright © 2021 American School Health Association.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037-1045
JournalJournal of School Health
Volume91
Issue number12
Early online dateOct 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

Citation

Wong, A., Szeto, S., Lung, D. W. M., & Yip, P. S. F. (2021). Diffusing innovation and motivating change: Adopting a student-led and whole-school approach to mental health promotion. Journal of School Health, 91(12), 1037-1045. https://doi.org/10.1111/josh.13094

Keywords

  • Child and adolescent health
  • Mental health
  • Stress
  • Organization and administration of school health programs
  • Program planning
  • Research

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