TOPIC: This review of the literature addresses Australian school mental health nursing is an emergent field of practice. PURPOSE: Children with behavioral/mental health disorders present challenges to schools, teachers, and their families. They can be disruptive in class, inappropriate with their peers, and perform poorly academically. Often this group of children do not respond to the school's usual strategies to support appropriate behavior. When children with behavioral/mental health disorders do not receive specialized support based on their problems and needs, their problems can escalate over time and in adolescence their behavior may become more challenging, with increased aggression, substance use, contact with the criminal justice system, and school failure with or without dropout. CONCLUSION: Mental health nurses, working as case managers, could be effective in the support of children with behavioral/mental health disorders in schools. Mental health nurses, because of their professional education and clinical practice, work not only with the individual child but also with family members. They are well prepared to case manage in schools and support individual teachers and health and welfare services in their management of their clients with behavioral/mental health disorders.
Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing Vol. 25, Issue 1, p. 17-24