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Barry, MM; Friedli, L
Foresight State-of-Science Review: SR-B3. The influence of social, demographic and physical factors on positive mental health in children, adults and older people
The Government Office for Science
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Summary This report reviews the literature on the conceptualisation of positive mental health and outlines current understanding on the determinants of mental health and their implications for research, policy and practice.The concept of positive mental health is introduced and its contribution to the future health, social and economic capital and wellbeing of society is discussed. The determinants of positive mental health across the lifespan from infancy to old age are reviewed, focusing particularly on the modifi able psychosocial, economic and environmental determinants. Enhancing factors for mental health operating at the structural, community and individual level are considered, including socioeconomic circumstances, distribution of wealth, living environments, education, employment, access to natural and community resources, social inclusion, social support, and individual skills and attributes. The review considers the need for further research on the nature and determinants of positive mental health. The evidence suggests that policies focusing on curing or preventing mental disorders will not necessarily deliver on improved mental health at a population level. The growing evidence of the effectiveness of mental health promotion interventions strengthens the case for action across all sectors in creating conditions that promote positive mental health, fl ourishing and wellbeing.
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