Health & Medicine

Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:28

How do social conditions contribute to poor mental health in South Africa?

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Promoting mental health in scarce-resource contexts: Emerging evidence and practice (HSRC Press) is a recently published new book which calls for greater attention to be paid to mental health in the quest for human development and self-reliant, sustainable communities. The book will be launched on Wednesday 24 March at 6pm at Ike's Bookshop located at 48a Florida Road in Durban. Members of the media and public are welcome to attend the launch.
Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorders. It is a state of well-being in which individuals recognise their abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and make a contribution to their community. Poor mental health can impede a person’s capacity to realise their potential in many areas. Risk influences for poor mental health range from individual genetic influences through to interpersonal, community and societal level influences.

The contributors to this book take the perspective that the promotion of mental health needs to be located within a multisectoral approach to development which recognizes the centrality of mental health to human development and ultimately the socio-economic development of low to middle income countries.

The volume is divided into two parts. The first is devoted to practice issues, providing necessary information to embark on programme development and implementation. As such, Part 1 covers the theoretical models, processes, research methods and challenges of developing, implementing and evaluating mental health promotion and prevention programmes. Chapters include an overview on relevant theories, contextual issues and processes that need to be considered, and the challenges of dissemination of interventions.

Part 2 adopts a lifespan developmental approach to mental health promotion and prevention, premised on the different developmental phases being associated with key challenges. Each chapter outlines the key risk influences for poor mental health outcomes associated with each stage, together with evidence-based interventions that have been found to be effective. The chapters in this section thus move one through early childhood, middle childhood and early adolescence, adolescence, adulthood and finally on to old age, addressing the issues pertinent to each phase.

Poor mental health can trap people in a cycle of poverty and mental ill-health, impeding the development of people and the development of societies as a whole. What is evident from Promoting mental health in scarce-resource contexts: Emerging evidence and practice (HSRC Press) is that there is a growing body of evidence on how mental health promotion across the lifespan can mediate positive health outcomes in scarce-resource contexts. Placing mental health promotion on the development agenda is, however, a challenge that requires advocacy across multiple sectors.

Thought-provoking as well as practical, it is hoped that this book can serve as a tool to assist in the advocacy, training and practice of mental health promotion.

Promoting mental health in scarce-resource contexts: Emerging evidence and practice (HSRC Press) is edited by Inge Petersen, Arvin Bhana, Alan J. Flisher, Leslie Swartz and Linda Richter.

About the Editors:
Inge Petersen is Professor of Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Arvin Bhana is Deputy Executive Director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council.

Alan J. Flisher is Sue Streungmann Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, Head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Director of the Adolescent Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

Leslie Swartz is Professor of Psychology at the University of Stellenbosch.

Linda Richter is Executive Director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council and Honorary Professor of Psychology and elected Fellow, University of KwaZulu-Natal and Honorary Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of the Witwatersrand

Copies of all of HSRC Press published titles are available from leading booksellers nationally, and from the online bookshop at www.hsrcpress.ac.za. You can also download the eBook from our website in PDF format by clicking on www.hsrcpress.ac.za/promoting-mental-health

Read more http://www.mediaweb.co.za/journalist/mnews_j_.asp?id=3872

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