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J Ment Health. 2011 Apr;20(2):174-84. doi: 10.3109/09638237.2011.556157.

Mental health promotion policies in Europe.

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Department of Sociology, Deusto University, Bilbao, Spain.


There is little evidence that systematic mental health promotion (MHP) policies exist in the countries of the European Union (EU). In order to explore this, a sample of public health stakeholders in ten European regions was selected. Each region was asked to complete a postal questionnaire about structural indicators of those environmental factors that might have an impact on mental health; stakeholders were also provided with information on MHP concepts and strategies. Subsequently the regions were visited, and stakeholders were interviewed on their MHP policies using an open-ended questionnaire. It was found that there were no existing procedures or plans that could support the hope that systematic MHP policies would be developed in the next years in the EU. Only three of the ten regions had started to develop such policies. An 8-item questionnaire on the framework and process of MHP policy development was developed and used in the present study. This questionnaire may be a useful instrument in future studies on structural indicators of mental health.

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