Mental Health Interventions

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Dual-factor model of mental health, multitiered system of support, motivational interviewing, accelerated courses

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)



This chapter reviews youth mental health interventions that promote behavioral, emotional, and cognitive engagement among school-aged youth within a three-tier framework. We first summarize empirical relationships between positive indicators of student engagement [e.g., subjective well-being (SWB)] and negative indicators (e.g., internalizing and externalizing symptoms of psychopathology) of mental health. Then, we describe interventions that can be implemented in the school context to target the specified mental health indicators. At Tier 1, universal school- and class-wide prevention strategies that promote students’ SWB and emotional health and demonstrate positive improvements on student engagement are reviewed. At Tier 2, we describe how selective mental health interventions utilizing a motivational interviewing approach can promote students’ engagement. At Tier 3, we present cognitive-behavioral therapy as an evidence-based approach to treating externalizing and internalizing symptoms that pose barriers to student engagement. We illustrate interventions within each tier through providing a case study based on our work with adolescents enrolled in rigorous accelerated high school courses.

Citation / Publisher Attribution

Mental Health Interventions, in J. A. Fredericks, A. L. Reschly & S. L. Christenson (Eds.), Handbook of Student Engagement Interventions: Working with Disengaged Students, Elsevier, p. 199-215