6.1 MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION

PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health Promotion

There are many mental health promotion activities happening across Lambton County. The next sections discuss the strengths and opportunities that exist in schools, workplaces, the justice system, and healthcare settings and gives examples of promising practices.

“We need more focus on healthy families, parenting skills, parenting classes and peer support for parents with teenagers. We need this support without families having to attend CAS. Illness prevention could be addressed with families and teaching healthy coping etc.”

– Adult mental health care worker

How do we promote mental health?

Mental health promotion is about empowering individuals, families, and communities to maintain their own positive mental health and shifting the mental health care system to invest more heavily in upstream approaches that can create mentally healthier communities. Five key concepts of health promotion can be applied to mental health promotion:

Health Promotion Concept

Examples of Mental Health Promotion in Lambton County

Health Promotion Concept

Examples of Mental Health Promotion in Lambton County

Creating supportive environments

St. Clair Child and Youth Services has partnered with minor hockey associations across Lambton to offer mental health awareness and literacy education to players, their parents/caregivers, and coaching/support staff with the goals of raising awareness of mental health and mental illnesses, dispelling common misconceptions about mental illnesses, and providing information about common mental illnesses and how young people and their supports can seek help.

Building individual skills

The Tension to Triumph Mental Health Innovation Project is a peer-led proactive preparedness training program delivered to local grade 12 students. The goal was to strengthen students’ awareness and understanding of mental health so they could build skills to adjust to the challenges of transitioning to the post-secondary world. Giving students intentional training before they leave high school is a means to reduce the incidence of distress.

 

CMHA Lambton-Kent branch, in partnership with West Lambton Community Health Centre and the Strangway Centre offer Living Life to the Full. This 8 week program uses cognitive-behavioural strategies to combat attitudes, thoughts, and behaviours that can contribute to mental health problems. The program has particularly demonstrated effectiveness in older adults and is open to the public.

Developing healthy public policy

Lambton Public Health has developed a Positive Space Policy to identify it as a space that is open and welcoming to staff and clients of all sexual and gender diversities.  Based on a community survey, reducing stigma in healthcare settings can help to improve access by people who identify as LGBTQ2IA+ in Lambton.

Reorienting mental health services

Bluewater Health and Canadian Mental Health Association have partnered to create an Integrated Mental Health Leadership group to identify and address issues related to service provision and care coordination in the community.

Strengthening community action

CMHA Lambton-Kent branch has partnered with elementary schools in Lambton to raise awareness about mental health and the importance of promoting it through conversations, physical activity, and community engagement.  Ride Don’t Hide in schools engaged 280 grade 7 and 8 students and staff in conversations, fundraising, and activities that promote positive mental health in a time of transition.

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SCHOOLS