Mental health promotion: Let’s start speaking the same language

Author: Watson, S. & McDonald, K. (2016)
Publication Date: 2016

Watson, S. & McDonald, K. (2016). Mental health promotion: Let’s start speaking the same language. Waterloo, ON: Region of Waterloo Public Health & Emergency Services.


This is a guide developed in the Canadian context for public health practitioners. This resource starts out with some foundational concepts including theories that underlie child and youth mental health promotion (e.g., PHAC’s social ecological model). It describes the life course approach as well as positive mental health (including the competence enhancement approach and social inclusion). While it is not specific to child and youth mental health promotion it is relevant and provides a good discussion of concepts frequently not covered in mental health promotion resources, such as social inclusion, social capital, as well as connectedness and equity. It acknowledges the social determinants of health and multiple levels of impact and measurement.

Potential use

A good resource for those involved in design and implementation of mental health promotion programming. A well-rounded practice guide that provides an overview of what are currently considered effective, evidence-based approaches to mental health promotion programming.

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