RISE: Prevention of Child Mental Health Problems in Southeastern Europe

Project outline


Parenting for Lifelong Health (PLH) is an initiative led by experts from the World Health Organization, UNICEF, the Universities of Bangor, Cape Town, Oxford, Reading, and Stellenbosch. PLH is committed to develop and test a suite of effective, feasible, culturally relevant, and scalable parenting programmes to reduce the risk of violence against children and improve child wellbeing in low- and middle income countries.

The aim of the RISE project is to adapt, optimise, evaluate, and extend the most effective and cost-effective version of the PLH 2-9 programme in order to prevent child mental health problems in three Eastern European countries: Northern Macedonia, the Republic of Moldova, and Romania. Funded by Horizon2020 as part of the Global Alliance for Chronic Diseases, it innovatively combines the state-of-the art Multiphase Optimisation Strategy (MOST) framework for intervention research with a rigorous implementation science approach.

RISE will be implemented from 2018 to 2022. First, the project partners will collaborate with the local stakeholders from UNICEF, government, academia, and civil society, as well as local parenting professionals, parents and primary caregivers themselves in order to determine the cultural appropriateness and feasibility of the PLH 2-9 programme. Second, different versions of the PLH programme will be tested to develop the most effective and cost-effective programme to take to scale in each country. Lastly, the project will rigorously evaluate optimized intervention in order to establish its effectiveness and cost-effectiveness with vulnerable families in each country.


Lachman, J. M., Heinrichs, N., Jansen, E., Brühl, A., Taut, D., Fang, X., . . . Foran, H. M. (2019). Preventing child mental health problems through parenting interventions in Southeastern Europe (RISE): Protocol for a multi-country cluster randomized factorial study. Contemporary Clinical Trials. doi:10.1016/j.cct.2019.105855

Frantz, I., Foran, H. M., Lachman, J. M., Jansen, E., Hutchings, J., Băban, A., . . . Ward, C. L. (2019). Prevention of child mental health problems in Southeastern Europe: A multicentre sequential study to adapt, optimise and test the parenting programme ‘Parenting for Lifelong Health for Young Children’, protocol for stage 1, the feasibility study. BMJ Open, 9(1).

Jansen, E., Lachman, J. M., Heinrichs, N., Hutchings, J., Baban, A. S., & Foran, H. M. (2020). Hunger in vulnerable families in Southeastern Europe: Associations with mental health and violence. Frontiers in Public Health, 8, 115.