Child and adolescent mental health problems could cause significant distress, and may limit the chance of a student to fully utilize his or her potentials. School mental health services (SMHS) are standard practices in many parts of the world and serves as a useful preventive intervention against child/adolescent psychiatric disorders. The study is aimed at determining teachers, students and parents beliefs about the need for school mental health services in a sample of secondary schools in south west Nigeria. A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted within two educational district areas of south west Nigeria. Six schools were included in the survey. A total of 697 students, 51 teachers and 376 parents were recruited to the survey, after written consent was obtained from teachers and parents. Information was gathered using anonymously filled socio-demographic questionnaire and pre-designed an attitude/beliefs questionnaire that explored for school mental knowledge, needs and services. A few (11.1%) of the respondents had some school mental health service in their school; 75.8% said it did not exist, while 13.1% were not sure. 58.6% had school drug abuse free clubs. 20.7% knew there was a school counsellor; 67.4% said none existed and 11.9% were unsure. Aggressive behaviour (52.7%) and unexplained absenteeism (35.0%) were the commonest mental health challenges identified by the stake holders in their schools that will benefit from SMHS. There is a need for school mental health services in this study location.
Key words: School mental health, stakeholders, services, Nigeria.
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