Mental health, emotional health, prevention, adolescent, post-primary schools.
The current study aimed to explore the attitudes of principals, college of education lecturers and teachers towards introducing preventative mental health strategies. Following a triangulated methods, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with four principals, four teacher training lecturers, and a focus group was conducted with four teachers. Data were analysed following Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. The three core themes derived from this study were: (1) cause and maintenance of mental health issues in adolescence; (2) barriers to implementing preventative mental health strategies; and (3) issues with teacher training and proposed solution. Participants favoured incorporating mental health training within teacher training, but highlighted that they were not mental health practitioners. The development and maintenance of mental health issues in adolescence is multi-factorial. Consequently, addressing this requires a wider systemic approach to include society, community, family and school.