5100.0 Social Determinants of Mental Health as a Factor of Healthy Communities

Wednesday, November 2, 2011: 10:30 AM
The 1999 Surgeon General’s mental health report indicates that “mental health is fundamental to health”. The Surgeon General’s report is consistent with the 2009 IOM report which states that “mental health and physical health are inseparable.” In light of this, mental health promotion and mental illness preemption and prevention must play an integral role in any efforts to keep the community healthy. This means that mental health services should be as equally available in the community as other health care services and that effort should be made to prevent mental illness. Further, as public health plans are developed to intervene on the factors that are key to sustaining good physical health (e.g., physical activity, healthy diets, reduced alcohol consumption and smoking cessation), key factors for maintaining mental health must also be addressed. This requires that the social determinants of mental health have valid and reliable definitions and must be addressed in the context of health promotion and prevention. The social determinants of mental health include racism, housing, employment, safe neighborhoods, adequate and equal public education, physical activity outlets, access to medical (including mental healthcare) and dental healthcare, and access to safe and healthy food outlets. Achieving positive impacts on these social determinants of mental health will require the integration of mental health promotion into overall health promotion efforts by public health, mental health, and human service delivery agencies such as the criminal justice system, social services, transportation, and community planners. This session will include discussions on the social determinants of mental health, the integration of mental health and public health, national and international research initiatives for addressing the social determinants of mental health, and national efforts in mental illness prevention and mental health promotion.
Session Objectives: Indentify at least five social determinants of mental health in a community. Discuss the need for the integration of mental health and public health in promoting community health. Describe NIMH’s new research initiatives to expand community mental health and health promotion capacity in Low and Middle Income Countries. Identify several domestic and international strategies for mental health promotion in the community.
Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH, RD
Geraldine S. Perry, DrPH, RD

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Organized by: APHA-Special Sessions
Endorsed by: Asian Pacific Islander Caucus for Public Health

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH) , Masters Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES)

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