Don't Miss...
Defining a Population Mental Health Framework for Public Health
 733 K

Scan of Mental Health Strategies across Canada

Advancing Population Mental Health
On the site of the Ontario Health Promotion e-Bulletin.

Framework for Healthy Public Policies Favouring Mental Health (HPP-FMH)
 766 K

Annotated Bibliography: Population Mental Health
559 K

Canadian Resources
Mental Health Commission of Canada's website is home to a lot of information and many documents, including the mental health strategy for Canada “ Changing directions, changing lives”.

Canadian Best Practices Portal (section on Mental Health)
Public Health Agency of Canada.


Exploring Positive Mental Health.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2009). 
 1.87 MB

Mentally Healthy Communities: A collection of Papers.
Canadian Institute for Health Information. (2008).
 1.14 MB

International Resources

Social determiants of mental health. UCL Institute of Health Equity. World Health Organization and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (2014). Geneva: World Health Organization.

The evidence of mental health promotion effectiveness: strategies for action. Promotion and Education. A special issue of IUHPE: Jané-Lopis, E., Barry, M., Hosman, C., Patel, V. (Eds.). (2005). Supplement – Hors série – Edición especial 2, 1-72.
 1.16 MB

Addressing the Determinants of Positive Mental Health: Concepts, Evidence and Practice. 11, 3. Barry, M. (2009). International journal of mental health promotion. 
 108 K

Foresight Mental Capital and Wellbeing Project Outputs
Final Project report. The Government Office for Science, London.
12.1 MB

Promoting Mental Health: Concepts, Emerging Evidence, Practice. Herrman, H., Saxena, S., & Moodie, R. (Eds).. (2005). A Report of the World Health Organization, Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in Collaboration with the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation and University of Melbourne. Geneva: WHO.
 923 K

Mental health, resilience and inequalities. Friedli, L. (2009). WHO Europe.
 459 K


Barry, M. & Jenkins, R. (2007). Implementing Mental Health Promotion. Oxford: Churchill Livingstone, Elsevier. For a preview click here.

Huppert, F. A., Baylis, N., & Keverne, B. (Eds.) (2005). The science of well-being. Oxford university press.
For a preview click here.

Diener, E., Lucas, R., Schimmack, U., & Helliwell, J. (2009). Well-being for public policy. Oxford university press.
For a preview click here.

Pascale Mantoura


Population Mental Health

There is no health without mental health. This simple statement reminds us that the holistic definition of health proposed by the World Health Organization (WHO) includes affective and psychological dimensions as well as a preoccupation for people's wellbeing.

Image of helium balloons foalting through the sky © @skegbydave     This implies that good mental health is a resource for life and a necessary condition to live a life that is healthy, socially fulfilling and economically productive.

In its broad definition, it is more than the absence of disease; it consists of a state of ‘flourishing,' which is a combination of feeling good and functioning effectively most of the time (The Government Office for Science, 2008; Huppert & So, 2013).

Mental health can fluctuate, from a state of languishing to a state of flourishing. These fluctuations are associated with physical health, productivity, success in school and education, relationships, employment and earnings, and quality of life of all individuals, including those who have a mental disorder (Keyes, 2002; 2007). 

In Canada, the Canadian Mental Health Commission committed to a major project which led to a strategy: the document “Changing Directions, Changing Lives,” published in 2012. Whether it is at the federal, provincial or local level, many interventions are being developed to renew our perspective in order to improve the mental health status of the whole population, to keep people from becoming mentally ill, and to improve the quality of life of those living with a mental disorder; all the while necessarily acknowledging the complexity inherent in such projects.

To improve population mental health and reduce inequalities in mental health, interventions, including public policies, aim at the determinants of mental health at the structural and environmental levels, on social dimensions within families and communities, and on individual level factors. As for other dimensions of health, interventions and policies must take a life course perspective into account. This means considering how the determinants of mental health may have more impact during specific developmental stages and life transitions, as well as the fact that they add up, intersect, influence one another, and change throughout the life course.

To support public health actors across Canada in their work regarding population mental health, the NCCHPP is working in the area of population mental health. We are developing some of this work as part of a collective project along with the five other National Collaborating Centres for Public Health (NCCPH).

Various activities and resources are being developed within this project :

1) A Briefing Note: “Framework for healthy public policies favouring mental health

2) A webinar on Defining a Population Mental Health Framework for Public Health

3) A Scan of Mental Health Strategies across Canada;

4) A briefing note :  “Defining a Population Mental Health Framework for Public Health”,

5) A survey for Canadian public health practitioners' to assess resource needs in the area of population mental health, to fill out the survey, click here.

-Huppert, F. A. & So, T. T. C. (2013). Flourishing Across Europe : Application of a New Conceptual Framework for Defining Well-Being. Soc Indic Res, 110, 837-861.
-Keyes, C. L. M. (2007). Promoting and protecting mental health as flourishing. A complementary strategy for improving mental health. American Psychologist, 62(2), 95-108.
-Keyes, C. L. M. (2002). The Mental health continuum: From languishing to flourishing in life. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 43(2), 207-222.
-Mental Health Commission of Canada. (2012). Changing directions, changing lives: The mental health strategy for Canada. Retrieved from :
-The Government Office for Science. (2008). Foresight mental capital and wellbeing project. Final Project Report. London: Retrieved from:

Photo Credits:
© @skegbydave
For information about how to legally obtain these images,
click here.

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The production of the NCCHPP website has been made possible through a financial contribution from the Public Health Agency of Canada.