SMS project wants to prevent depression in young people and promote mental health

A team from the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences of the University of Coimbra (FPCEUC) will start, this month, in two schools of the Figueira Norte Group, in Figueira da Foz, an intervention plan aimed at promoting mental health, the preventing depression and combating social stigma and associated school failure.

The intervention will be applied at the Basic School Pintor Mário Augusto and at the Escola Secundária Cristina Torres, within the scope of the “SMS” project, an acronym for “Sucesso, Mente e Saúde”, funded by the Portugal Inovação Social program and by the Figueira da Foz City Council .

The “SMS” translates into a “broadband” intervention, that is, it involves not only all students, but also their parents and guardians, teachers and other school professionals and community technicians who are directly related with educational establishments, such as technicians from the local authority and health centers.

In addition, it includes a strong technological aspect, namely the “SMS eSaúde” web platform, developed with the collaboration of researchers from the Informatics Engineering Department of the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of Coimbra (FCTUC).

The intervention consists of two programs, one for young people and another for educators. The “SMSjovens” program consists of 10 sessions, applied once a week, in a combined learning logic (face-to-face and remote).

In each hour-long session, skills based on cognitive-behavioral therapy are worked and trained, which have proven to be effective in preventing and treating many mental health problems in adolescence, namely mindfulness and self-compassion.

The 10 sessions that make up the “SMSeducadores” program aim to promote communication skills, conflict resolution and emotional support, among others, in order to positively impact the quality of the relationship with adolescents.

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