Feeling the Fear and Doing It Anyway: A Case Study of CHRS-City, an Intervention for Adolescent Mental Health
Provision for adolescent mental health in New Zealand is in its infancy. CRHS-City is the first Ministry of Education funded initiative that addresses adolescent mental health and transition back to school in New Zealand. This thesis examines the experiences of students and their families attending CRHS-City and how they were supported to transition back to school or further education. This research is important as it focuses on a growing need and documents Central Regional Health School’s attempt to address it. The methodological approach was a multiple case study underpinned by a constructivist paradigm. A qualitative approach was appropriate for this study as the research wanted to capture the impact attending CRHS-City had on a specific group of students and their transition back to a regular school or further education. Three students and their families identified they would be willing to be interviewed as part of this study. Eight overarching themes emerged from the research. Participants described positive outcomes from their experience of attending CRHS-City. This study has found being at CRHS-City helped the participants explore different ways of managing their mental health condition and gain confidence in their abilities to do so, which in turn supported the overall goal of a return to school or further education. However this was not an easy process for either the students or their parents. The findings from this research identified recommendations specific to CRHS-City and for the education sector in general to support students who have a mental health condition continue with their education goals. Support for the student’s family and the regular school is an essential part of this process. Research into effective interventions within mainstream schools to support students who have mental health needs is seen as a logical next step.