Critical Actions for Mental Health Promotion

International Union for Health Promotion and Education (2021)
Publication Date: 2021

International Union for Health Promotion and Education (2021). Critical Actions for Mental Health Promotion. Paris: IUHPE.


This document was prepared as a response to a global mental health crisis that has been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic. It affirms that the decline of population mental health is largely attributable to secondary effects of the pandemic (e.g., loss of employment, isolation, disruption of services), which operate through social and structural determinants of health, and which require novel and comprehensive population mental health approaches. It describes what is meant by a population mental health approach and spotlights mental health promotion as a key facet of this approach. It concludes with a set of critical actions for those working on enhancing mental health policies, practices, and systems.

Potential use

The sections describing population mental health, the focus on social determinants of mental health, and the need for mental health promotion are highly relevant to anyone working within the field of mental health. The calls to action are particularly relevant for policy makers as part of their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

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