Socialno delo, Vol. 51 (2012), Issue 5
MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION
The concept of mental health promotion as a basis for rethinking preventive actions in the field of addiction - 293, (Abstract)
The implications of the PROMISE European training guidelines for social workers - 301, (Abstract)
Indicators for training professionals in the area of depression and suicide, and a model training programme - 317, (Abstract)
The PROMISE European Guidelines for training professionals on mental health promotion: Evaluating implementation in the area of depression and suicide - 327, (Abstract)
Mental health nursing and mental health promotion: A UK case example - 337, (Abstract)
In recent times, the concept of health promotion has become increasingly present in Slovene political and social life. Through various promotional and preventive activities, a healthy lifestyle reinforces the image of health and the healthy body, which is seen in the Slovene context as being an objective of life and not a source of life. The author underlines the dilemmas arising from divergent conceptual descriptions and interpretations with regard to mental health promotion, particularly with regard to political dualism in much medical discourse. The close links between health promotion and prevention are analysed, and the implications of applying mental health promotion approaches in the field of addiction, an area in which the dominant medical discourse continues to emphasise abstinence as the primary objective of health interventions in this field. This is reinforced by the sensationalistic and stigmatising coverage by the media which reinforces the negative image of drug users. The author then describes how the concept of harm reduction has been gaining in importance, and draws attention to the social consequences of this approach. She examines the prohibition model, which is currently the dominant model in most European countries. Finally, she underlines the need for training professionals working in the field of promotion and prevention and discusses the implications of the recently published guidelines for training professionals working in the field of drugs, developed during the international project PROMISE (Promoting Mental Health Minimising Mental Illness and Integrating through Education).
Keywords: prevention, media, drug prevention, harm reduction, prohibition, training of professionals
Amra Šabić is a graduate social worker. She is employed as a researcher at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Social Work. She has been actively involved in several research projects both abroad and in Slovenia. The teaching and research process in the last two years includes the field of youth, mental health, work with the elderly, methods of social work, use of legal and illegal drugs and exploration of risks. Contact: email@example.com.
The article explains the implications and process of applying, in the area of mental health promotion, the ethics of social work and current concepts and principles of social work practice. The set of ten quality criteria for designing training for social workers is discussed and commented through the perspective of social work. Health promotion as an idea and as a political strategy often takes its own ethical and moral principles for granted. Public health workers often take it for granted that their activities are morally and ethically impeccable. Those who play a role in health promotion need to recognize the need to articulate their practice and the meaning of this practice with regard to both the human rights agenda and people’s everyday life. Social work as a profession traditionally sees its role as striving for social justice. Equal access to all the determinants of health is at the very heart of the social work profession. In social work, we cannot understand health promotion only as changing attitudes and behaviour but rather as changing social and life conditions. Social work itself has developed a number of strategies and methods of identify ways of strengthening people’s and communities’ capabilities, resources and aspirations so as to create the conditions necessary to exercise their health rights. Mental health promotion involves social workers finding ways of escaping from their supervision roles and seeing themselves as facilitators of good mental health and well-being. However, this goal requires close scrutiny with regard to our professional position in a changing society. The PROMISE quality criteria for training social workers should also be understood as a set of ethical principles to be incorporated at each step of our everyday practice and thus necessarily introduced into all levels of training for social work professionals.
Keywords: health promotion, mental health, ethics, social work in the community, user’s involvment
Vera Grebenc has a PhD in social work. She works as a researcer and an assistant lecturer at the Faculty for Social work, University of Ljubljana. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Traditionally, suicide and depression (SD) have been viewed from a treatment point of view, i.e. what are the best steps to treat a suicidal or a depressed patient. These are usually related to the pharmacological treatment of depression. With the implementation of the European Green Paper on Mental Health (2005), and the development of Mental Health Pact (2008), the strategic importance of mental health promotion (MHP) and illness reduction as keystones of Europe-wide mental health policy and practice has never been greater. PROMISE (Promoting Mental Health Minimising Mental Illness and Integration through Education) is an international project, with the specific aim of developing and disseminating comprehensive training guidelines and model programmes for professionals working in health and social care. The present article describes the role of the University of Primorska: adapting the guidelines with regard to SD prevention and developing and implementing a model training programme in SD prevention. Added value was supplied through collaboration with European level health and social service professional bodies, university networks, civil society organizations and non-traditional actors to identify the needs of organisations that provide training in MHP. The project also took into account different countries’ policy and legislation on MHP as well as best practice models; liaising with national governmental and non-governmental organisations working in the area of SD; developing effective working relationships with the local mental health service users and organisations.
Keywords: mental health promotion, training of professionals, holistic approach
Ksenija da Silva has a PhD in Neuropsychology. She is a researcher and a lecturer at University of Primorska and colaborates on several European neuropsychological projects. Contact: email@example.com. Gaja Zager Kocjan has a BA degree from the Department of Psychology in Ljubljana. She is a researcher at the Andrej Marušič Institute, University of Primorska. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The main aim of the PROMISE project was to develop and disseminate comprehensive training guidelines and model programmes on mental health promotion for professionals working in social and health care, in the areas of 1) healthy living for mental health service users; 2) alcohol and drug use; and 3) suicide and depression. Following an initial analysis of policy, legislation and literature reviews in the area of mental health promotion in different countries, added value was supplied through collaborating with European level health and social service professional bodies, university networks, civil society organizations and non-traditional actors, such as users and their representative organisations to identify the needs of professional bodies that provide training in mental health promotion in the area of suicide and depression. The article addresses the principle topics in the field of suicide and depression which were emphasised as most crucial from users’ and professionals’ points of view.
Keywords: mental health promotion, training of professionals, holistic approach, human rights
Ksenija da Silva has a PhD in Neuropsychology. She is a researcher and a lecturer at University of Primorska and colaborates on several European neuropsychological projects. Contact: email@example.com.
This paper places in a European context recent research work carried out at Middlesex University, London, UK for the PROMISE DG Sanco European project. The work at Middlesex sought to critically review a new mental health nursing curriculum being introduced at the university, using the ten quality criteria for training social and health care professionals in mental health promotion. Each of fourteen nursing modules in this new curriculum was individually reviewed and judgements were made as to what extent each of the 10 PROMISE Guidelines quality criteria were present or absent in these modules. It was found that half of the modules contained references to the principles of mental health promotion, but that this was not followed through in terms of identifying and developing core skills necessary to implement mental health promotion. There was little reference for example to advocacy. It was concluded that mental health promotion is still not seen as a core essential skill component in professional mental health nursing in the UK.
Keywords: mental health promotion, compliance, PROMISE project, inclusion, modules, curriculum
Albert B. Odro is a Principal Lecturer at Middlesex University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lawrence K. Dadzie is a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. Contact: email@example.com. Daniela Collins is a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org. Roland Lodoiska is a Senior Lecturer at Essex University. Contact: email@example.com. Peter Ryan is a Professor of Mental Health at Middlesex University. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.