Cambridge University

Public Mental Health

“Promoting positive public mental health represents one of the most significant challenges and opportunities for the UK and internationally” — Professor Gordon Harold, who leads the Public Mental Health Pillar at Cambridge Public Health.

At CPH, we aim to promote raise awareness of the idea that mental health problems can affect anyone, across all life-stages — which means that no single group of researchers or clinicians can improve public mental health single-handedly. Public mental health requires a multidisciplinary approach and perspective, and we need insights from people across fields with a range of expertise, in collaboration with policymakers and the public, to help tackle this significant, and globally worsening, issue.

It also needs an early prevention, rather than late intervention framework: the sooner we can identify risks and growing issues, the better for everyone. And we need to focus on understanding underlying mechanisms of the variety of mental health issues we see — treating mental health is about so much more than just treating a set of symptoms. Part of this is about identifying factors that mediate and moderate mental health problems; another part is identifying — and promoting — positive mental health outcomes.

Together, public mental health promotion requires effective translation of research to front-line practice and policy groupings linked to promoting positive life course mental health and development.

The Public Mental Health Pillar is led by Professor Gordon Harold.

Related articles:

Helping parents to help chilren during a mental health crisis
Following on from World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2021, this first of two blog posts describes the scale of the challenge in understanding what contributes to mental health and the need for policy to help parents to help their children.

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