183762 A Framework for Mental Health Prevention and Early Intervention: An environmental and policy approach to community well-being

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 12:45 PM

Rachel Davis, MSW , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Linda M. Shak, MSW , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Carol Chao, BA , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Sarah Adler-McDonald, BA , Prevention Institute, Oakland, CA
Mental health is a critical component of an individual's physical health as well as the community's health. Evidence suggests that certain mental health problems can be prevented, or the onset may be delayed and severity of symptoms decreased, through effective prevention and early intervention. Prevention efforts are most successful when they use multi-faceted solutions that address not only individuals, but also their environments, including home, work, and school. A successful approach to prevention and early intervention necessitates the consideration of mental health in most community issues, including issues of planning and community design/development, housing, transportation, economic development, education, and health.

In 2008 San Mateo County, California hired Prevention Institute to facilitate the community-wide process of developing a Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Framework for Mental Health that emphasizes primary prevention and promotes mental well-being among all community residents. Primary prevention—taking action before the onset of illness— can support the care and treatment of those in need while also reducing the stigma associated with behavioral health problems.

The presentation will provide an overview of San Mateo County's strategic planning process and the resulting PEI Framework. Presenters will highlight the environmental solutions to improve mental well-being that emerged from the process, including addressing the built environment, community design, social connectedness, and violence prevention. This comprehensive approach calls on a range of community stakeholders to collaborate to prevent negative mental health outcomes—this presentation explores how to engage multiple sectors in contributing to an environmental approach to preventing mental health issues.

Learning Objectives:
• Articulate 3-5 environmental factors that prevent mental health issues and can contribute to positive mental well-being. • Identify 2-3 potential sectors outside of the mental health field with which to collaborate in creating momentum for a primary prevention approach to mental and behavioral health issues. • Understand lessons learned from the San Mateo County strategic planning process and apply to similar community planning processes

Keywords: Mental Health, Community Health Promoters

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: of our extensive experience developing and refining primary prevention strategies and practice for state and community level organizations.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.