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Teachers' awareness for psychotic symptoms in secondary school: the effects of an early detection programme and information campaign


Dr Johannes Langeveld, Stavanger University Hospital, Regional Centre for Clinical Research in Psychosis, Department of Psychiatry, Armauer Hansensvei, 4014 Stavanger, Norway. Email:


Aim: The objective of the study was to investigate high school teacher's literacy on psychosis symptoms and teachers' confidence in the positive effects of psychosis treatment on the mental health of students with psychotic symptoms at two sites: one site with an extensive early detection of psychosis programme including an ongoing information campaign (IC) on early signs of psychosis and a control site with no early detection or IC aimed at psychosis.

Methods: A cross-sectional comparative design was employed using a using a structured survey questionnaire. Four schools from Rogaland County and four schools from Nord-Trøndelag County were selected by strategic sampling.

Results: Teachers at the study site with an ongoing IC and access to an outreaching team for early detection and treatment of psychosis demonstrated a higher level of confidence in the effects of treatment on psychosis. At both sites, we found that teachers who have participated in mental health literacy training programmes do show better mental health literacy. No significant effect of study site on mental health literacy was found.

Conclusion: Access to a detection and treatment programme for psychosis can provide more confidence in the effect of treatment for psychosis in young people. Mental health literacy training programmes for teachers seem to have the expected effect: better mental health literacy, including more knowledge on early signs of psychosis.