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Happy Friends, Positive Minds!

Longitudinal research into the effectiveness of a depression prevention programme for girls in early adolescence

With the entry into force of the Appropriate Education Act (Wet Passend Onderwijs) in 2014, a duty of care for school boards has come into effect. The duty of care is one of the policy instruments used by the government to bring about improvements in the system for pupils with specific educational needs. In concrete terms, this means that a school must provide appropriate education and support for pupils.

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School professionals from partnerships Noordelijke Drechtsteden and Koers VO are currently increasingly confronted with students who have symptoms of depression. Research shows that no less than twenty percent of all young people at the start of secondary school suffer a lot from depression. School professionals see a loss of resilience and self-confidence, underperformance, unauthorised school absenteeism and early school drop-out among these students. This is a negative spiral that these youngsters often cannot escape without intensive support. In addition, school professionals observe another worrying development: in their search for relief from their symptoms and resilience, pupils with symptoms of depression mainly seek the proximity and support of other pupils with similar symptoms.

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