An international study on public mental health work, opportunities and training
Effective public mental health (PMH) interventions exist to treat mental conditions, prevent associated impacts, prevent mental health conditions from arising, and promote mental wellbeing and resilience. However, only a minority of people with mental health conditions receive treatment - even in high-income countries - with far lower coverage in low- and middle-income countries (WHO, 2021). There is even less coverage of interventions to prevent associated impacts, with negligible coverage of interventions to prevent mental health conditions or promote mental wellbeing and resilience. The PMH implementation gap breaches the right to health and results in population scale preventable suffering, broad impacts, and associated economic costs. Various reasons account for the PMH implementation gap, including insufficient PMH knowledge and training, insufficient mental health policy and its implementation, insufficient resources, and insufficient political will influenced by stigma and discrimination.
The overarching aim of this study is to explore PMH understanding, engagement, practice, key barriers and opportunities, and training in order to inform discussions and future planning. The study is targeting several key stakeholder groups (mental health professionals, policy makers, public health professionals, primary care practitioners, and people with experience of mental health conditions).
This study is being conducted in collaboration with several organisations including the European Psychiatric Association (EPA), World Psychiatric Association (WPA), World Organization of Family Doctors (WONCA), World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA), and Global Alliance of Mental Illness Advocacy Networks-Europe (GAMIAN-Europe).
The study has received ethics clearance from the College Research Ethics Committee at King’s College London (MRSU-22/23-34933).
Dr Mariana Pinto da Costa, Senior Lecturer at King's IoPPN, and Dr Jonathan Campion, Director for Public Mental Health and Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, are the Principal Investigators of this study.
Calling mental health professionals, primary care practitioners, public health professionals, policy makers, and people with lived experience of a mental health condition!
Your participation in this study would help bring us closer to an understanding of current public mental health work, training and opportunities. Your participation would thus be greatly appreciated. Access the online survey.
Mariana Pinto da Costa