Development of accessible mental health services for youth is an important objective in many Western countries. In Norway, increased collaboration among professionals from community health services and speciality health services is considered as vital to reach this aim. This article addresses processes of working together among school nurses and professionals with background in speciality health services. A Participative Action Research (PAR) project provided the context of collaboration. The aim of the project was to develop counselling for youth with psychosocial problems in school health services. The research group included four school nurses, two mental health professionals and the researcher. Through joint reflections based on the practitioners’ case-work, the intention was to draw on knowledge from the two fields of practice: school nursing and mental health. By analysing the process in retrospect we found that conditions that hampered collaboration were initially connected to insecurity, doubt and different opinions among the practitioners. Throughout the project lack of time resources was an important challenge. Conditions that facilitated collaboration could be clustered around the two main themes: first, to give place for expression of doubt and different opinions and second, to share practice experiences. The discussion reflects upon how these issues might inform how health workers with different professional backgrounds can develop practice together.

Keywords: Mental health, participative action research, practice development, primary health services