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Table 3 Perceived benefits of MHD screening

From: Acceptability of screening for mental health difficulties in primary schools: a survey of UK parents

Theme Number of comments
Theme 1. Benefits of screening for mental health difficulties for the child
 Sub-theme 1. Screening can lead to early identification of MHD/(early) identification is important
Ex. “[E]arly detection helps in [getting] more help for the child”
 Sub-theme 2. Early identification of MHD can lead to early support
Ex. “I think they’d be a good idea, as some children will benefit from early intervention.”
 Sub-theme 3. Early identification of MHD can prevent future problems
Ex. “To spot the signs of any child that may be struggling. They would hopefully be offered guidance to avoid things like self-harming and suicide.”
 Sub-theme 4. Personal stories of experiences with MHD
Ex. “We have benefited already from our child receiving emotional support in school so think screening is a good idea.”
 Sub-theme 5. Screening is systematic/ involves all children
Ex. “Regular checks would make sure children do not ‘slip through the net’”
Theme 2. Benefits of the school setting
 Sub-theme 6. School staff can provide valuable insight on mental health due to relationship to pupils
Ex. “The children spend a majority of their day at school, therefore you would assume the staff there know them quite well and could notice changes.”
 Sub-theme 7. School is a safe place for children and children trust their teachers
Ex. “The children often have a trusted relationship with their teachers and TAs and are in a safe space to explore their emotional wellbeing.”
 Sub-theme 8. Screening promotes an ‘all adult’ approach that involves parents, teachers, and staff in identification
Ex. “Every adult should be involved in ensuring kids are thriving”
 Sub-theme 9. School screening could benefit children who cannot get support at home/ who have problems at home
Ex. “May not have emotional support at home and best to talk to someone sooner rather than later, so that things don’t bottle up.”
 Sub-theme 10. Early identification could lead to improved academic performance/improved school life
Ex. “Early detection of emotional health problems. These problems can then be dealt with early so not to cause problems in their learning and overall wellbeing.”
 Sub-theme 11. Screening is also beneficial to schools themselves
Ex. “Surely it would benefit schools and there ciricculam [sic] if they knew the children who where struggling.”
 Sub-theme 12. Schools can support parents and families
Ex. “Could help parents of children with emotional health difficulties - offer support/advice”