What Works for Mental Health: Lessons from Experimental Evaluations of Social Interventions for Children’s Mental Health

Research BriefEarly ChildhoodJan 1 2007

Mental health disorders are common in children and adolescents. Left untreated, mental health problems can lead to difficulties with school, problematic relationships with peers and family, substance abuse, and death. This makes early diagnosis and intervention crucial, since the earlier a disorder is detected and treated, the less serious the course of the illness is likely to be.

The What Works for Mental Health table is based on a review of 57 social interventions for children ages 5 to 18 that have been evaluated in a random assignment experiment and that focus on educational outcomes, from the Child Trends database of experimental evaluations of social interventions for children and youth.