- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 23 February 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0112
- LAST REVIEWED: 05 May 2017
- LAST MODIFIED: 23 February 2011
- DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756797-0112
An essential starting point for understanding and describing mental health is to also understand mental illness. Essentially, what is mental health, and what is mental illness? From a public health perspective, mental illness is considered a public health concern due to the fact that people with serious mental illnesses often have serious medical problems, co-occurring alcohol and drug problems, and higher mortality rates than the general population. Conventional descriptions of mental illness refer to individuals who exhibit clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndromes or patterns and in whom these syndromes are associated with present distress (e.g., painful symptom) and disability (e.g., impairment in functioning) and result in increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or loss of freedom. Mental health, on the other hand, can be described as both a process and an outcome that includes features such as purpose in life, self-acceptance, autonomy, positive relations, social acceptance, social actualization, and self-esteem. Mental health is considered critical to overall health and cognitive and emotional well-being and includes an individual’s ability to enjoy and balance life as well as to achieve emotional and psychological resilience. Strategies for achieving mental health are seen in consumer empowerment and recovery models of care as well as the uptick in the application of evidence-based practices and family- and consumer-friendly policies. The boundary between mental health and mental illness is not rigid but fluid, subject to social, environmental, policy, and individual influences, and there is no one definition of mental health. Until recently the focus of mental health research and writing was on pathology and the reduction of symptoms rather than on finding paths to mental wellness and improving quality of life. While there are many published works discussing mental illness and pathology, fewer explore mental health as an interdisciplinary field of philosophy, practice, and policy that emphasizes wellness and consumer preference. However, with the growing emphasis on mental health care reform, the number is growing. Although it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive list of all published resources in mental health, this article provides a broad list of common and not so common resources for any reader who wants to familiarize himself or herself with the intersection of mental health and public health.
Though the focus of this bibliography is to increase knowledge of mental health rather than mental illness, it is difficult to entirely separate the two. Mental health can be a goal for those with and without mental disorders, and as a result the works in this section introduce and define mental health and mental health services from different perspectives. Eight main areas are reviewed: principles and practices in Corrigan, et al. 2008, self-esteem and well-being in Donnelly, et al. 2001, race and culture in Fernando 2010, an overview of mental health and children in Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences 2009, an overview of mental health in the United Kingdom in Kinsella and Kinsella 2006, psychology of being in Maslow 1998, mental health care and nursing in Morrison-Valfre 2008, a guide for consumers and family members in Canada in Plans 2004.
Corrigan, Patrick W., Kim T. Mueser, Gary R. Bond, Robert E. Drake, and Phyllis Solomon. 2008. The principles and practice of psychiatric rehabilitation: An empirical approach. New York: Guilford.
This textbook discusses the importance of teaching skills and designing supports that enable people living with mental illness to function within the community and experience meaningful achievements with as minimal intrusion of symptoms as possible. The book addresses various realms of community involvement, including work, education, socializing, friendships, spirituality, independent living, illness self-management, family, recreation, sexual intimacy, and citizenship.
Donnelly, Joseph W., Norn Eburne, and Mark Kittleson. 2001. Mental health: Dimensions of self-esteem and emotional well-being. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Using a holistic approach, this book examines the cognitive, emotional, social, and spiritual dimensions of mental health and incorporates public health, medicine and psychiatry, psychology, and health education perspectives.
Fernando, Suman. 2010. Mental health, race, and culture. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.
This text discusses mental health theories, practices, traditions, and innovations from around the world while acknowledging the ethnocentric racial biases found in Western psychiatry. Topics include trauma-informed care, culturally sensitive practice, cross-cultural collaboration, and resilience in the face of trauma and exile, social suffering, and violence.
Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences. 2009. Preventing mental emotional and behavioral disorders among young people. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.
Mental health has been recognized as an important service and program component for younger populations who are experiencing mental health and substance abuse problems. The Institute of Medicine’s updated report is a comprehensive resource for readers interested in the combined approaches of prevention and health promotion.
Kinsella, Caroline, and Connor Kinsella. 2006. Introducing mental health: A practical guide. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Written for new and experienced practitioners, this book details the major mental health disorders using perspectives from the United Kingdom Mental Health Act of 1983. It includes information on risk assessment and management and community collaboration as well as references, resources, handouts, and case studies.
Maslow, Abraham H. 1998. Toward a psychology of being. 3d ed. San Francisco: Wiley.
The third edition of this psychology classic, written by the founder of modern humanistic psychology, Abraham H. Maslow, raises and answers questions fundamental to human nature and psychological well-being and what is needed to promote, maintain, and restore mental and emotional well-being.
Morrison-Valfre, Michelle. 2008. Foundations of mental health care. 4th ed. New York: Elsevier.
The fourth edition of this book provides a holistic view of mental health care for nurses and other mental health care workers. Chapter topics include psychopharmacology, cases studies, and specific psychological and psychosocial issues.
Plans, Miriam L. 2004. Mental health: A layman’s guide. Victoria, BC: Trafford.
Though written primarily for the mental health consumer and family members, this book is an accessible guide to mental health practices that can be a valuable resource for mental health professionals. Topics include looking for organic causes of mental illness, proper usage of medications, working with support groups, and interdisciplinary practices.
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- Access to Health Care
- Action Research
- Active Aging
- Active Living
- Adolescent Risk-Taking Behavior in the United States
- Advocacy, Public Health
- Agricultural Safety and Public Health
- Air Quality: Health Effects
- Air Quality: Indoor Health Effects
- Alcohol Availability and Violence
- Alternative Research Designs
- Ambient Air Quality Standards and Guidelines
- American Perspectives on Chronic Disease and Control
- Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)
- Asthma in Children
- Attachment as a Health Determinant
- Behavior Change Theory in Health Education and Promotion
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance
- Bicycling and Cycling Safety
- Birth and Death Registration
- Birth Cohort Studies
- Board of Health
- Built Environment and Health, The
- Business and Corporate Practices
- Cancer Communication Strategies in North America
- Cancer Prevention
- Cancer Screening
- Capacity Building
- Capacity Building for NCDs in LMICs
- Capacity-Building for Applied Public Health in LMIC: A US ...
- Cardiovascular Health and Disease
- Child Maltreatment
- Children, Air Pollution and
- Children, Injury Risk-Taking Behaviors in
- Children, Obesity in
- Citizen Advisory Boards
- Climate Change and Human Health
- Climate Change: Institutional Response
- Clinical Preventive Medicine
- Community Air Pollution
- Community Development
- Community Gardens
- Community Health Assessment
- Community Partnerships and Coalitions
- Community-Based Participatory Research
- Complexity and Systems Theory
- Definition of Health
- Dental Public Health
- Design and Health
- Dietary Guidelines
- Ecological Approaches
- Enabling Factors
- Environmental Laws
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Ethics of Public Health
- Evidence-Based Public Health Practice
- Family Planning Services and Birth Control
- Food Safety
- Food Security and Food Banks
- Food Systems
- Frail Elderly
- Functional Literacy
- Genomics, Public Health
- Geographic Information Systems
- Geography and Health
- Global Health
- Global Health Diplomacy
- Global Health Promotion
- Guide to Community Preventive Services, The
- Health Administration
- Health Communication
- Health Disparities
- Health Education
- Health Impact Assessment
- Health in All Policies
- Health in All Policies in European Countries
- Health Literacy
- Health Literacy and Non-Communicable Diseases
- Health Measurement Scales
- Health Planning
- Health Promoting Hospitals
- Health Promotion
- Health Promotion Workforce Capacity
- Healthy People Initiative
- Hepatitis C
- High Risk Prevention Strategies
- Human Rights, Health and
- Immigrant Populations
- Immunization and Pneumococcal Infection
- Indigenous Peoples, Public Health and
- Indigenous Populations of North America, Australasia, and ...
- Indoor Air Quality Guidelines
- Internet Applications in Promoting Health Behavior
- Intersectoral Strategies in Low - Middle Income Countries ...
- Justice, Social
- Knowledge Translation and Exchange
- Knowledge Utilization and Exchange
- Law of Public Health in the United States
- Media Advocacy
- Mental Health
- Mental Health Promotion
- Migrant Health
- Motor Vehicle Injury Prevention
- Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
- National Association of Local Boards of Health
- National Public Health Institutions
- Needs Assessment
- Obesity Prevention
- Occupational Cancers
- Occupational Safety and Health
- Ottawa Charter
- Parenting and Work
- Parenting Skills and Capacity
- Participatory Action Research
- Patient Decision Making
- Pesticide Exposure and Pesticide Health Effects
- Physical Activity and Exercise
- Physical Activity Promotion
- Polio Eradication in Pakistan
- Population Aging
- Population Determinants of Unhealthy Foods and Beverages
- Population Health Objectives and Targets
- Precautionary Principle
- Prenatal Health
- Program Evaluation in American Health Education
- Program Planning and Evaluation
- Public Health, History of
- Public Health Surveillance
- Public-Private Partnerships in Public Health Research and ...
- Public-Private Partnerships to Prevent and Manage Obesity ...
- Quantitative Microbial Risk Assessment
- Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies
- Randomized Controlled Trials
- Real World Evaluation Strategies
- Reducing Obesity-Related Health Disparities in Hispanic an...
- Rural Health in the United States
- Safety, Patient
- Sex Education in HIV/AIDS Prevention
- Skin Cancer Prevention
- Smoking Cessation
- Social Determinants of Health
- Social Epidemiology
- Social Marketing
- Statistics in Public Health
- Systems in the United States, Public Health
- Systems Theory in Public Health
- Traditional, Complementary, Alternative, and Integrative M...
- Translation of Science to Practice and Policy
- Traumatic Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Tuberculosis among Adults and the Determinants of Health
- Unintentional Injury Prevention
- Urban Health
- Vaccine Hesitancy
- Violence Prevention
- Water Quality
- Water Quality and Water-Related Disease
- Weight Management in US Occupational Settings
- Worksite Health Promotion