16 June 2023

The benefits of investing in school-based mental health support

Investing in MHPSS related education programmes is found to be of benefit for children and economies.  During emergencies, a complexity of variables can impact a child's mental health, exacerbating existing mental health conditions, reducing education participation, and worsening educational outcomes. Low educational attainment and mental health problems can severely affect lifetime earning potential and economic productivity.   This new report illustrates the economic benefits of implementing school and community-based mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions for children and adolescents affected by humanitarian emergencies. The global cost-benefit analysis found that the impact of failing to address the mental health and psychosocial support needs of 10–17-year-old children and adolescents affected by humanitarian emergencies would result in the equivalent of a global US$203 billion loss of potential lifetime earnings.  This global report and policy brief provides data and evidence to demonstrate that Mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS) interventions improve child and adolescent mental health, psychosocial support and learning outcomes and translate into individual and social-economic benefits over the productive period of an individual's lifespan. The evidence generated provides policymakers, donors, and education authorities with helpful information to make evidence-based informed decisions.