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Health Promot Int. 2006 Dec;21 Suppl 1:36-41.

Promoting mental health as an essential aspect of health promotion.

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Department of Social Development, University of Cope Town, South Africa.


This paper advocates that mental health promotion receive appropriate attention within health promotion. It is of great concern that, in practice, mental health promotion is frequently overlooked in health promotion programmes although the WHO definitions of health and the Ottawa Charter describe mental health as an integral part of health. It is suggested that more attention be given to addressing the determinants of mental health in terms of protective and risk factors for both physical and mental conditions, particularly in developing countries. Examples of evidence-based mental health programmes operating in widely diverse settings are presented to demonstrate that well designed interventions can contribute to the well-being of populations. It is advocated that particular attention be given to the intersectorial cooperation needed for this work.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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