Social Anxiety and School Refusal in Adolescence

Project to bridge the gap between education and youth mental health care

Michiel Westenberg received funding from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) for a project to connect education and youth mental health care.

The research project aims to develop and test a three-step model in which the intensity of care is adjusted to the student’s needs. In the first step, students in secondary school will receive a lesson about stress and how to deal with it. Information will also be provided to parents and teachers. In the second step, easily accessible group training in dealing with stress will be offered to students who present themselves or are recommended by a parent or teacher. In the third step, students who need additional help will be referred to specialized youth care.

The research team, led by Michiel Westenberg, consists of scientists from different universities as well as professionals working in youth mental health care and secondary education. They responded to a call from the Dutch Science Agenda (NWA), an initiative in which the general public posed questions for science to answer. Read more on the Dutch websites of Leiden University and NWO.