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Better mental health for all: a public health approach to mental health improvement

Author(s)

FACULTY OF PUBLIC HEALTH, MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION

Publisher(s):

Faculty of Public Health, Mental Health Foundation

This report looks at what can be done individually and collectively to improve the mental health of individuals, families and communities and prevent mental health problems using a public health approach. The report aims to encourage proportionate use of universal services 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, complementing recovery and prevention approaches. Section one maps out why mental health is an important, highlights its economic and social costs and examines why it is often overlooked. Section two outlines the risk and protective factors through the life course from the early years, to adulthood and later-life. It also looks at the risk and protective factors across communities, for example in the home, education and work settings, and the effects of the built environment and neighbourhoods. Section three addresses approaches and interventions to improve mental health at different stages of the life course and in different settings. Section four offers a practical guide to enable practitioners to support their own mental wellbeing. Case studies of innovative public mental health programmes and projects being run across the UK are included throughout. Annex A includes a list of initiatives received as entries for the Faculty of Public Health public mental health award, 10 of which are included in the report as case examples. (Edited publisher abstract)

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