A Public Health Approach to Mental Health Improvement

Michael Pearce's picture

A Public Health Approach to Mental Health Improvement

The UK’s Faculty of Public Health (FPH) has produced a report: ‘Better Mental Health for All; A public health approach to mental health improvement’ focussing on what can be done individually and collectively to enhance individual and community mental health using a public health approach. 

The report is in line with the values of sustainability in mental health, particularly in prioritising prevention. It is a valuable resource for those considering how best to prevent mental ill-health.

The approach is concerned with promoting mental wellbeing, preventing future mental health problems and recovery from them. 

The Faculty of Public Health has published this resource to encourage a proportionate universal approach with a focus on the promotion of mental wellbeing and on high level support for those at risk of poor mental health and mental health problems. In this way the resource complements recovery and prevention approaches.

The report details how the economic and social costs of mental health problems are high and that provision of interventions that support public mental health has been badly affected by austerity measures. Therefore they recommend current models of practice need expanding to include psychological, sociological and interpersonal approaches, interventions acknowledging the central role of the social context and the impacts of discrimination, poverty and exclusion.

The report acknowledges that risk and protective factors occur from early in life, making childhood determinants primary in future mental wellbeing. They therefore address approaches to improve mental health across the life course.

The final section offers a practical guide to enable practitioners to support their own mental wellbeing, and gives a call to action, detailing key actions professionals can take to promote mental wellbeing and prevent mental health problems.

The press release and link to the full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/FPH-PMH

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