Youth mental health intervention studies from India: A scoping review
Background: About 70% of mental disorders emerge in late childhood and young people bear the burden of these disorders throughout life. Yet, to date there has been comparatively little research on mental health interventions for young people in India and not many attempts have been made to collate the existing literature. This systematic review aims to synthesize the available evidence on school- and community-based mental health interventions for young people in India.
Methods: A range of major electronic databases were searched systematically, and the abstracts of relevant papers were independently examined for possible inclusion. Selected papers were read in full text and a standardized set of data items were extracted.
Results: Four papers met inclusion criteria for the analysis; two studies of school-based
interventions for adolescents and two studies evaluating out-of-school community interventions for youth were reviewed. The quality of evidence from the interventions in Indian school and community settings were poor. While two studies evidence the effectiveness of a school-based life skills programme and a community based multicomponent intervention designed to promote youth health, two other studies do not
offer sufficient data.
Conclusion: The review findings indicate that the number of interventional studies conducted in India to address youth mental health issues are very limited. Hence, it is extremely difficult to ensure the feasibility and effectiveness of school- and community-based interventions in India. Further research is warranted to establish whether interventions promoting youth mental health people can be implemented effectively in Indian settings with positive mental health outcomes. Given the possibility of a huge population of young people at-risk or experiencing mental disorders, evidence for the efficacy of youth mental health interventions is crucial.