Implementing Mental Health Promotion in Primary Care

  • Inge PetersenEmail author


Primary health care is an important setting for the provision of mental health promotion interventions. It is central to achieving the broad vision of primary health care that is concerned with mental and social wellbeing in addition to physical health. Furthermore, mental health is itself important for the attainment of physical health, and primary health care is an opportune setting for early identification and implementation of mental health promotion and prevention interventions. This chapter first provides an introduction to the context and rationale for mental health promotion within the primary health care setting. Adopting a lifespan approach, it then provides an overview of effective, feasible and practical mental health promotion interventions delivered from within the primary health care setting. Much of this evidence is drawn from the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Gap Action Programme (mhGAP) (World Health Organization, mhGAP Intervention Guide. Version 2. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization, 2016), which provides primary health care providers with clear guidance on evidence-based mental health promotion interventions for all priority conditions. These identified interventions are illustrated through providing case studies from both high-income and low- and middle-income countries. A summary of the characteristics of successful mental health promotion interventions is provided in the conclusion to the chapter to guide future practice.


Primary health care, evidence-based interventions Maternal depression interventions Web-based and face-to-face depression prevention interventions Home visitation and psychosocial stimulation programmes Social prescribing Brief screening and intervention programmes for substance misuse Dementia prevention interventions 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KwaZulu-NatalDurbanSouth Africa

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