Building on strengths: a developmental approach to promote women's mental health in communities

Francis, Abraham (2010) Building on strengths: a developmental approach to promote women's mental health in communities. In: Sekar, K., Rajaram, Prakashi, Shekhar, Rameela, and Mubarak, A.R., (eds.) Women and Mental Health. National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, Bangalore, pp. 28-39.

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This paper discusses the issue of mental health from a community-based perspective, with a particular emphasis on women's experience of mental health issues in the community context. Mental illness affects one in four people at some stage during their lives. It is estimated that 450 million people are experiencing mental illness at anyone time, most of whom live in developing countries (WHO, 2001). The paper provides a brief discussion of mental health as an individual and community issue before considering a number of different approaches to addressing practice in the mental health field.

Social work, developmental and health promotion perspectives are each considered in relation to women's mental health, and the benefits and limitations of these are identified. A particular emphasis is placed on the importance of strength-based perspectives in mental health practice. Drawing on these perspectives, an integrated model for addressing women's mental health issues in a community context is proposed, highlighting the need for developing and sustaining community spirit and promoting resilience in communities.

Today, the status and wellbeing of countless millions of women worldwide remain tragically low particularly in relation to issues of mental health and illness. As a result, human well-being suffers, and the prospects for future generations are dimmer (WHO Report, Executive Summary, 1998). It is in this context, that this paper discusses these issues and proposes a synthesised model of community practice for women's mental health promotion.

Item ID: 16106
Item Type: Book Chapter (Teaching Material)
ISBN: 81-86430-00-X
Keywords: mental health, women, promotion
Date Deposited: 16 May 2011 05:24
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160702 Counselling, Welfare and Community Services @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9202 Health and Support Services > 920209 Mental Health Services @ 100%
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