Health Promotion Societal Issues Mental Health

Health Promotion Societal Issues Mental Health

Health Promotion Societal Issues: Mental Health

Name of Student


Health Promotion Societal Issues: Mental Health


The World Health Organization (WHO) (2004, P. 13) defines mental health as a state of completeness in the social, physical and emotional wellbeing. It is emphasized that mental health is not just a lack of infirmity or disease. People in the society and my community have displayed ignorance of this fact, and research shows that it is widespread in the world. Creating awareness of the meaning of mental health, and the parameters that determine mental health is essential for the realization of overall health of the people. The notion of viewing mental disease as an extraordinary disease needs to be done away with, and the true sense of the concept instilled into the people.

Background information/Why I chose the topic:

I am interested in exploring this topic because of the attitudes of the people in my community regarding the whole concept of mental health. The sense of the current definition of mental health, (WHO, 2004), is far from conceptualization in my community. People perceive mental health as witchcraft, curse, traditional evil counter-attacks and such strange mythological explanations. According to the WHO (2004, p. 14), there can’t be health without mental health. Further, mental health is determined by a complex of factor-interplay between behaviors, physical activity/inactivity, and trauma (Kobau et al., 2011). Since mental health is more than just the lack or absence of illness, and it exists in a continuum, everyone is likely to suffer it. Such understanding lacks among the majority of the people in my community. Health promotion targeting this topic can be of a greater benefit in improving the health of the members of my community.

Possible interventions:

i). enhancing positive psychology

Kobau et al. (2011) defines positive psychology as the study of such resources and behaviors that strengthen the assets of the community, with a view to preventing mental disorder, and enhancing the quality of life of the people. The mental health promotion in this line seeks to enhance the psychological strengths, resources and the individual competencies of the people. In this regard, the mental health promotion that factors positive psychology will address the models and theories that people have formed about mental health in their society. By doing so, the mental health promotion gives a chance for the community members to criticize their view about the mental health concepts, and this enables them to appreciate the new concepts being introduced to them. According to Kobau et al. (2011), positive psychology in mental health promotion provides unique approaches for appreciating psychological resilience, contributing in a great way in understanding the concept of mental health, and health promotion in general.

ii). Creating awareness through public education

Public education is an effective way of effecting mental health promotion programs in the community. Kalra et al. (2011) posit that public education has been found to work very well in reducing the burden of disease, as well as, morbidity in mental disease. In this regard, the education targets the environment, individuals and the society. In a society that has a background of poor understanding of mental health, educational programmes are very effective for introducing the new concepts, and instilling them into the community members. Such avenues provide opportunities for the members to learn from one another and appreciate the concepts being taught. A larger proportion of the members is thus likely to benefit from such a programme.


Kalra, G., Christodoulou, G., Tsipas, V., Jenkins, R., Mezzick, J…. & Bhugra, D. (2011). Mental health promotion: guidance and strategies. European Psychiatry, 27(2), 81-86.

Kobau, R., Seligman, E. P., Peterson, C., Diener, E., Zack, M., Chapman, D., & Thomson, W. (2011). Mental health promotion in public health: perspectives and strategies from positive psychology. American Journal of Public Health, 101(8), e1-e9.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2004). Promoting mental health: Concepts, emerging issues, practice. Geneva: Author.