Mental Health Promotion: A Lifespan Approach

By Mima Cattan; Sylvia Tilford | Go to book overview

8 Concluding comments and the
future of mental health promotion

Introduction

Sylvia Tilford

In the past the promotion of mental health often had lower priority than the promotion of aspects of physical health. This has changed over the last ten years and mental health promotion is achieving a much higher profile. Evidence of this has been seen in the number of effectiveness reviews, national policy statements, a European Ministerial Conference in 2000, of statements from the WHO and its publication of two major reports (WHO 2004a, b) and a special issue of the International Union of Health and Promotion Education (IUHPE) journal in 2005. According to Williams et al. (2005: 7) international attention is now being devoted to actively creating social and physical environments that contribute to, and promote positive mental health, while in the IUHPE special issue Mittelmark (2005) concluded that there is a considerable momentum for mental health promotion. As explained in the Preface, this book was written in response to expressed needs for a text which integrated material to inform mental health promotion practice. In this final chapter we will bring together some concluding points from the earlier chapters, reflect further on selected themes which have run through the chapters, and comment on the future needs for mental health promotion.

The book was organized in accordance with a lifespan approach for the reasons given in the Preface. The specific divisions of the lifespan which have been used might be questioned. Phases labelled in some parts of the world, such as ‘adolescence’ and ‘middle years’, may not be recognized in other parts of the world. The meanings associated with specific phases may also vary. Chapter 4, for example, noted the differing conceptions of what it is to be a child and the nature of childhood, and Chapter 7 examined the meanings surrounding the last phase of life. To a great extent the categories used to divide and describe different points in the lifespan are provisional, contested and socially created. In most cultures childhood and adulthood are acknowledged, as is older age, but adulthood may not be subdivided. Adolescence, also, which is seen as important in some cultures may receive only token, if any, recognition in others, and a significant transition is from childhood directly to adulthood. Common sense suggests that there are likely to be some similarities across cultures in the mental health promotion issues relating to major life events such as birth and death although there may also be significant differences in the meanings

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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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