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Stemming the tide: promoting mental health and preventing mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries

  • W. A. Tol (a1) (a2)

Abstract

The first World Health Organization's global action plan for mental health recognizes the importance of mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders, through the inclusion of one of four objectives focused on this crucial area of research and practice. This paper aims to provide an ‘aerial view’ of the field of mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders with a focus on low- and middle-income countries. Starting with reasons why promotion and prevention need to take center stage in global mental health efforts, the paper provides a framework and four general principles to guide such efforts: a socio-ecological perspective (place); an inter-sectoral and interdisciplinary approach (collaboration), a developmental perspective (timing), and a participatory and empowerment approach (strengths), or PaCTS. Evidence-based examples of mental health promotion, universal, selective, and indicated prevention are described.

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Copyright

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Corresponding author

* Address for correspondence: W. A. Tol, Department of Mental Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N Broadway, Baltimore, MD, USA. (Email: wtol@jhu.edu)

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For: Special Issue of Global Mental Health on the WHO Mental Health Action Plan 2013–2020

Footnotes

References

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