Consumer, user and survivior views on the Promotion of Mental Health and Prevention of Mental Illness
The definitions and explanations are all arguable. Regardless, we used them for a starting point, and also decided, at this stage, to not be more explicit about what we are preventing or promoting. A core group held an Internet discussion and others commented on drafts.
We talked about four spheres: individual, family, community, and research. We discussed preventing mental illness (science), preventing disability (education, caring, ... ), and preventing reoccurrences (advance directives, self-management).
We are interested in pharmacological and genetic research that might lead to information about biological risk factors and prevention of illness.
But rather than highlight prevention that means preventing the occurrence or the relapse, we would emphasize preventing the disability -- handling, managing, dealing with the event/situation once it exists, learning to find the transformative functions of our experiences, learning to use personal and spiritual support, preventing a diagnosis from becoming a destiny, learning to control and manage our circumstances. Meaningful service responsibilities and paid employment help to create a sense of personal worth and valued place. Housing and elimination of risk factors like poverty and child sexual abuse are fundamental to social integration. .
We are interested in changing the pervasive dissatisfaction with the current system of care. We discussed, and have not included, self-management techniques and specific input about the prevention of disability using a multi-faceted approach. Collating and combining the existing materials into a global unduplicated accessible format and then widely disseminating the existing materials would be a manageable next prevention step.
Broadly, we encourage an education campaign towards a social, family, and personal acceptance of difference.
Brody, E. The search for mental health. Eugene B. Brody, p 184.
WFMH. Articles of incorporation. (In Brody).
ILO: World employment report, 1998-99. Employability and the global economy - how training matters. Geneva. International Labour Organisation, 1998:35.