- Mental Health and Participation in Habilitation for Children and Adolescents with Disabilities

Mental health and participation in life situations are universal aspects of functioning. Mental health problems and participation restrictions are relatively often reported for children with disabilities. However, most population self-report surveys of mental health exclude children with severe or profound impåairments because the children can’t respond to the questionnaires. In habilitation, many interventions are planned and decided upon in collaboration with parents but less frequently in collaboration with the children themselves. If adapted data collection methods and collaborative problem-solving methods are used the children themselves can provide information about their mental health and participate in the intervention planning process.

This program investigates relations between participation and factors affecting participation with a focus on mental health and services provided to children with disabilities who have mental health problems. The program has two parts, one longitudinal study and one part focusing on the intervention process in habilitation. In the longitudinal study children in five habilitation regions are followed longitudinally for 4 years where researchers collect information prospectively about mental health at five time points from children and care providers. The goal is to describe and analyze mental health trajectories both in terms of mental health problems and in terms of participation and factors affecting mental health and participation. Participation is seen as an indicator of mental health and related to wellbeing. In the part of the program that focus on the intervention process an inclusive research approach is adopted. Researchers, children, parents and professionals collaborate for 5 years in all steps of the research process with the aim to design and evaluate interventions aimed at increasing children and care provider involvement in the intervention process. The program will provide information about how participation and mental health problems are related and about if and how child and parent involvement in interventions are related to mental health. The program can facilitate further development of support to children with disabilities who have mental health problems. To visit program's homepage please click here.

Contact persons: Mats Granlund, Lena Almqvist