After engaging with this material you will:

  • Understand the concept of health and mental health promotion programmes.
  • Understand how to work through this theme “how can nurses undertake wellness and mental health promotion programmes with their clients”

“…not merely the absence of disease or infirmity” “…attainment by all people of he highest possible level of health.” “…to foster activities in the field of mental health, especially those affecting the harmony of human relations.” These statements from the World Health Organization (WHO) are at the core of mental health promotion (WHO 2004).

By educating and sharing information and by using social contact interventions targeted at the adult population can lead to a reduction in stigma and discrimination. Moreover, based on a systematic review completed by Thornicroft et al. (2015) social contacts are one the most effective intervention for adults.

“Social contact seems to be most effective when there is equal status between groups or participants, common goals for the interaction, and inter-group cooperation. This can lead to disconfirmation of negative stereotypical beliefs about mental illness, which could lead to behaviour change, especially because of reduced anxiety and enhanced empathy. (Thornicroft, et al., 20115, p. 6.)”

Listen to the following podcast "Global Mental Health: How are we doing?" and reflect on the content and the situation in your own country.

The World Health Organization has defined health as:

“A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (WHO 2001, p.1).

As mental health is integral part of a person's health it is important to define mental health as well as health:

“A state of well-being in wich the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stress of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his of her community" (WHO 2001, p. 1).

Mental Health promotion aims to promote positive mental health by increasing psychological well-being. It also increases ones competence and resilience by creating supportive living conditions and environments. Mental health prevention targets a reduction of symptoms and ultimately of mental health problems (Ministry of Healthy Living and Sports, 2009.)

You can read more about the concepts of mental health promotion in WHO’s (2004) eBook "Promoting mental health".

You can also take a look of this Prezi presentation about "Health Promotion".

Firstly, we must build up our understanding of mental health promotion programmes. Visit mental health promotion programmes, where you can become familiar with the most common health and mental health promotion programme guidelines.

Secondly, we must talk about how we can promote wellness. At the following website you will see an innovative example of a Finnish mental health promotion programme how nurses can undertake wellness and mental health promotion programmes.

Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport, (2009) Model core programme paper: Mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention. Canada. Ministry of Healthy Living and Sport.

MHN, A Global community for mental health innovators. Global Mental Health: How are we doing? Webpage

Thornicroft, G., Mehta, N., Clement, S., Evans-Lacko, s., Rose, D., Koschorke, M., Shidhaye, R., O’Reilly, C., Henderson, C. (2015) Evidence for effective interventions to reduce mental-health-related stigma and discrimination. The Lancet. Published online September 23, 2015 (15)00298-6.

World Health Organisation (WHO), (2011) Atlas: mental health resources in the world. Geneva, World Health Organisation.

World Health Organisation (WHO), (2004) Promoting Mental Health. Concepts. Emerging evidence. Practice. Geneva, World Health Organisation.

The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.