Feeling Good and Doing Well? —Testing Efficacy of a Mental Health Promotive Intervention Program for Indian Youth

  •  Seema Mehrotra    


The need for moving beyond a narrow focus on diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation is well recognized in the
field of mental health literature. However, there is a dearth of interventions for mental health promotion tested
for use in the developing nations. The present study aimed at examining the efficacy of a mental health
promotive intervention program, “Feeling Good and Doing Well” for Indian college youth. One hundred and
seventy one college youth in a metropolitan city registered for the intervention trial, in response to program
announcements. Eighty five and eighty six participants were assigned to the intervention and waitlist groups
respectively. These groups were comparable on almost all the study variables at baseline. The intervention
program (with three core themes, namely application of strengths, goal pursuit and emotional regulation) was
conducted in the form of eight interactive group sessions. The waitlisted group also underwent the intervention at
the end of the waiting period. Multiple outcomes were examined including wellbeing (positive and negative
affect, life satisfaction, positive states of mind and psychological well-being), psychological distress and ratings
on self-efficacy. Significant gains on well-being and self-efficacy ratings as well as decline in psychological
distress were noted one month following intervention and these gains remained stable at four month follow up.
This is one of the first multi-component interventions with potential utility to serve as a universal mental health
promotion program for Indian youth.

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