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.