Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach

By Mima Cattan; Sylvia Tilford | Go to book overview

Preface

The idea for Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach came about as a result of a lively discussion with a group of students studying mental health promotion as part of their Masters in public health and health promotion course. In several sessions we had explored the philosophy and theory of mental health and mental health promotion, differing perspectives on mental health and mental health promotion, the evidence base and mental health promotion policy into practice, when one of the students exclaimed: ‘Yes, but what I really want to know is how do I relate all this to my own practice. In other words, how can I become a good mental health promoter?’ The result was a session where we considered the population groups the students in their professional capacity worked with in relation to what had been covered in the previous sessions. The chart we drew on the white board was entitled ‘Life stages and mental health promotion practice’, and was adapted from a set of tables on risk and protective factors from the ‘old’ National electronic Library for Health website (National electronic Library for Health 2003). It became clear that to be able to promote mental health and well-being effectively students needed something they could relate to in their working lives. As most of them worked with specific population groups rather than generically or in settings the lifespan approach appealed to them because they could apply it directly to their practice. Since that session we have refined our mental health promotion module to fit more directly with this approach, which has been a great success with the students. It has occasionally been suggested to us that a ‘settings approach’ might be more appropriate for addressing mental health promotion. However, we have found that although settings can be useful for providing a ‘stage’ for activities and interventions the lifespan approach (despite some overlap) provides a cross-cutting framework enabling students to consider the relationship between the wider determinants of mental health and different age groups. This also helps students to identify meaningful priorities when developing mental health promotion activities. As our students come from a very wide range of disciplines and backgrounds it would seem that a lifespan approach isn't just useful for those ‘doing mental health promotion’, but also for those who want to have a better understanding of how their work fits in with mental health promotion.

Mima Cattan and Sylvia Tilford


Reference

National electronic Library for Health (2003) Mental health promotion: risk and protective factors, Mental Health. London: NHS National electronic Library for Health. Available at http://www.nelmh.org (accessed 27 October 2005).

-xiii-

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Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Mental Health Promotion - A Lifespan Approach iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures, Tables and Boxes vi
  • List of Contributors viii
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xiii
  • Acknowledgements xv
  • List of Abbreviations xvi
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: What Is Mental Health? 8
  • 3: Mental Health Promotion 33
  • 4: Infancy and Childhood (0–5 Years and 6–12 Years) 64
  • 5: Adolescence and Emerging Adulthood (12–17 Years and 18–24 Years) 100
  • 6: Adulthood 137
  • 7: Older People 176
  • 8: Concluding Comments and the Future of Mental Health Promotion 214
  • Appendix 1 226
  • Appendix 2 228
  • Appendix 3 230
  • Glossary 232
  • Index 236
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