Mental health promotion

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Mental health promotion can be a difficult concept to grasp. Mental health promotion is often seen as public education, as compared to service delivery for people with mental illness. This polarization excludes the many vibrant mental health promotion approaches for people with mental illness.

Mental Health is….

  • More than lack of mental illness
  • About individual capacity and resilience
  • Fundamental to health of individuals and society
  • About a sense of control
  • Multi-faceted

Mental Health Promotion….

  • Aims to achieve positive mental health outcomes
  • May focus on promoting the mental health of people with mental illness
  • Enhances capacity to take control over life and improve mental health
  • Helps people take charge of circumstances that affect mental health
  • Focuses on assets rather than deficits; builds on foundation of empowerment
  • Involves intersectoral linkages, participation in decisions about life and health, and collective action based on shared values
  • Promotes well-being by enhancing access to mental health determinants, strengthening protective factors, and mitigating risk factors
  • Requires respect for civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights

Health Nexus Resources

Mental Health Promotion in Ontario: A Call to Action

Mental Health Promotion in Ontario: A Call to Action (PDF)
CAMH, CHP, CMHA Ontario, Health Nexus, OPHA
The call-to-action urges Ontario to take action  and move ‘upstream’ to decrease the burden of mental illness and assist Ontarians to maintain and improve their mental health. Includes an extensive reference list.

Discussion Paper on Mental Health Promotion

Discussion Paper on Mental Health Promotion (PDF)
Bonnie Pape "Mental health promotion practices often go unrecognized and unidentified; but there are some excellent documented and even evaluated practice examples to draw on." Includes references.


Post-partum mood disorders Post-partum mood disorders

Other Resources