Promotion & Prevention
The goal of mental health promotion is to encourage and increase protective factors and healthy behaviors that can help prevent mental disorders and reduce risk factors that can lead to the development of a mental disorder. This means focusing on creating an environment that supports mental health and allows youth to adopt healthy lifestyles.
Mental health can be promoted through
- Early childhood interventions (e.g., home visits for pregnant mothers, pre-school psychosocial activities);
- Providing support for children through skills building programs, child and youth development programs, etc.;
- Providing programs targeted at at-risk youth affected by conflict, trauma, etc.;
- Providing violence prevention programs
Prevention efforts are aimed at reducing the occurrence of mental health disorders through decreasing risk exposure and strengthening coping mechanisms.
- Identify evidence-based programs to provide a positive climate and promote skills for dealing with bullying, conflict, solving problems, developing healthy relationships, engaging in activities to prevent suicide and substance abuse, etc.
- Develop early interventions services for students in need of additional supports such as skill groups to deal with grief, anger, anxiety, sadness, etc.
- Develop an organizational culture where staff are trained to recognize the early warning signs of mental health issues with students.
- Identify student and family supports and resources in your area.
- Develop a referral process to ensure that all students have equal access to services and supports.
Train staff in Mental Health First Aid
Mental Health First Aid is an 8-hour course that gives people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. The evidence behind the program demonstrates that it does build mental health literacy, helping the public identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illness. Contact Dianna Bailey-Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org for training information.