Teen Substance Use, Mental Health and Body Image: Practical Strategies for Support


This practical resource for schools looks at the relationship between mental illness and substance use disorders in young people. While studies show the link between the two, drug use is often mistakenly viewed as ‘deviant’ behaviour rather than as a coping mechanism for unmet needs. This book offers schools and youth settings a different approach to both supporting young people with mental health and substance use issues and implementing preventative measures. The concept of risk taking in young people is explored, with particular reference to risk taking behaviours as coping mechanisms for mental distress. Other topics covered include how stress, low self-esteem and body image issues can lend to substance use, including performance enhancing drugs and high caffeine drinks. Examples of how to address these issues through PSHE will be addressed in each chapter, as well as tips for supporting individual pupils from expert practitioners and researchers in this field.


  • Acknowledgements
  • Preface
  • 1.Developing a Whole School Approach Around ‘What Works’ in Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Prevention
  • 2.Bulging at the Seams: Exploring the Modern Policy Context for Mental Health and Drug Education and Prevention
  • 3. Theoretical Models of Adolescent Health Behaviours and Support
  • 4. Alcohol, Smoking, Social Norms and Engaging Parents
  • 5. Body Image and IPEDs
  • 6. Energy Drinks and Smart Drugs
  • 7. Cannabis, NPS and Approaches to ‘Illicit’ Drugs
  • 8. Delivering Effective Mental Health and Drug Education in School
  • 9. Developing Healthy and Positive Coping
  • Appendix: Organisations Producing Materials and Resources for Working with Children and Young People on Mental Health and Drug Use
  • References


“This is a timely book given the concerns that many people who work with young people will have about mental health and drug use. Ian provides the perfect blend of evidence and professional experience when highlighting what works and what doesn’t, making this book a pragmatic resource for teachers, parents and others who work with young people.” – Ian Hamilton, Associate Professor, University of York

“I would urge those working in mental health and education to read this book. Ian achieves a rare feat of combining theory, evidence and practical application in an engaging and comprehensive narrative. This book will help many adults support their young people.” – Mike Armiger