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Health Promot Int. 2002 Sep;17(3):263-72.

Mental health promotion and illness prevention in Western Australia: a study of service capacity.

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  • 1The Centre for Mental Health Services Research Incorporated, 7 Field Street, Mount Lawley, Western Australia.


While considerable evidence exists regarding the effectiveness of specific kinds of interventions for mental illness prevention and to a lesser extent mental health promotion, mental health promotion and illness prevention (MHPIP) remain underdeveloped in Western Australia. The aim of this study was to explore the current state of MHPIP in Western Australia and to highlight some of the structural and systemic issues that need to be addressed if MHPIP services are to be progressed further in this state. For this purpose, the study examined the capacity for delivery of MHPIP services. Opportunities and barriers to the further development of MHPIP were also identified. Thirty-four key stakeholders representing a cross-section of local services, central government agencies and universities were interviewed using a semi-structured interview schedule. The interviews were conducted over a 6-week period. The interview schedule included questions on the workforce, agency liaison and project implementation, and priority areas and issues with respect to research and policy setting in MHPIP. In developing the focus of MHPIP services, critical factors that constitute capacity building were identified. These included readiness to participate in MHPIP, service infrastructure development, workforce development, resource allocation, networks and evaluation of programmes.

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