Preventing Mental Ill-Health: Informing public health planning and mental health practice

1st Edition

Jennifer Newton

Published October 16, 2012
Reference - 280 Pages - 8 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415455411 - CAT# Y002024

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Is there any evidence that we can reduce the incidence of mental ill health? Is it possible to prevent recurrence of mental ill health?

Aspirations to achieve both these goals have featured in mental health policy and practice for over 100 years. This comprehensive and accessible book draws on research on the development and persistence of behavioural problems in childhood, adult depression and schizophrenia. The association between social disadvantage and mental ill health, as well as the need for preventive care to start from conception and the crucial importance of maternal mental health, are discussed.

A variety of prominent programmes which have good evidence of efficacy are described. These include:

  • Targeted approaches with individuals and families
  • Macro policies affecting housing and employment
  • Lifestyle contributions such as diet and exercise

However, some attempts to achieve preventive benefits have not succeeded, and reflecting on these problems is an important feature of this review.

Jennifer Newton has written extensively on these issues for over twenty years, and her careful examination of the research literature provides a succinct overview of the state of current knowledge which will benefit mental health professionals, and students of health psychology and public health. It also takes a life course perspective, and considers how, when and why vulnerability persists through childhood into adult life, so will interest those whose work focuses on child well-being.


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