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The Roles of Public Health in Population Mental Health and Wellness Promotion

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This report from the National Collaborating Centre for Public Policy (NCCHPP) provides a summary of a national forum, held in2018, to explore key roles for public health in population mental health and wellness promotion (PMHWP), and what is needed to support public health work in this area. Using a two-eyed seeing process, the forum explored what is needed in terms of skills and knowledge, system policy supports, implementation structures, and research paradigms.  

This document describes the methodology of the forum and report preparation and foundational elements discussed at the event, including paradigm shift, mental wellness promotion, linkages with population health strategies, systems approaches, and community-based participatory research. From this forum, five public health roles in public health in population mental health and wellness promotion were identified and are described in this report: 

  1. Partner and bridge relationships across sectors involved in PMHWP 
  2. Exchange knowledge through communication and bridging 
  3. Collectively integrate and embed PMHWP into public health practices, including planning, implementation, and evaluation 
  4. Enable change for PMHWP through facilitating processes engagement, and capacity building 
  5. Co-lead and advocate for PMHWP through leadership, cross-sector activities, and establishing links with equity work 

Practice examples demonstrating include communities of practice, cross-sector engagement strategies, mental health leadership initiatives, knowledge-exchange events, co-leadership, and advocacy action. An extensive selection of tables is included throughout the document providing overview of elements in various competency frameworks including leadership, enabling change, partnership, advocacy, communication, assessment, evaluation, and diversity (among others). Supporting structures and processes for public health to action PMHWP are outlined, providing tangible guidance for activities and initiatives at all levels of public health. 

Use this resource to:

  1. Facilitate discussion to integrate a PMHWP lens in population health initiatives. 
  2. Develop a framework for taking a PMHWP approach to public health planning, implementation, evaluation, and reporting.  
  3. Guide policy development to address the social and structural determinants of mental health inequities for groups living with inequities, including people who are racialized, under-housed, isolated, members of the 2SLGBTQI+ community, living with low income, and working in precarious conditions.


Related Resources:


Mantoura, P. (2022). The Roles of Public Health in Population Mental Health and Wellness Promotion– Guidance Report. National Collaborating Centre for Healthy Public Policy. 

Tags: Healthy public policy, Intersectoral action, Mental Health, Assess and report, Modify and orient interventions, Participate in policy development, Partner with other sectors, Other National Collaborating Centre, Document, Report / Document