After three years of work the EU-funded project Mental Health Promotion Handbooks (MHP hands) released three Mental Health Promotion implementation handbooks. The handbooks are targeting at teachers in schools, team leaders and managers in workplaces and care staff and managers in older people’s residences, aiming to equip these professionals with the skills to promote mental wellbeing in their organisations.
The Manuals have been developed with the support of the European Commission’s Public Health programme. The project team involved experts from Germany, Austria, Estonia, Poland, Finland and Greece and was led by the Work Research Centre from Ireland.
Each of the manuals aims to support changes in individual behaviour that will support and promote mental health. The manuals contain many suggestions for doing so and they provide a broad description of the tools and processes that need to be followed.
All manuals follow a generic pattern, providing four main sections:
- A short introduction
- A description of the basics of mental health promotion
- The roles and skills needed for mental health promotion
- Topics, methods and tools for mental health promotion.
The handbook for the workplace setting was developed by the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health and the Work Research Centre from Ireland and is designed to provide managers with practical and effective tools to improve the wellbeing of workers.
It addresses 18 topics belonging to 4 key areas, which are:
- The impact of leadership
- The role of communication
- Understanding stress in the workplace
- Dealing with work related stress
Within each of the topics there is a common structure. First, the topic is defined and described. Then it is discussed in terms of mental health promotion, followed by a description of how MHP may be implemented in relation to the topic. Each topic also has a set of associated exercises to support the user as well as some examples and suggestions for further reading.
Much of the supporting material that users will need – specifically information on tools, examples and exercises etc. – can be found on the website of the European Network for Mental Health Promotion: http://www.mentalhealthpromotion.net/
More generally, the website contains useful supplementary material including the ProMenPol database, which comprises more than 400 tools for MHP and also the Mind-Health online training course on mental health promotion. This training course can be seen as an adjunct to the handbooks as it targets the structural features of the settings whereas the handbooks focus is particularly on interventions targeted at individuals.
All three handbooks are available in English and at least one other national language of the project partnership. So is the handbook for the workplace setting also available in German.
Joerg Michel, Project manager: firstname.lastname@example.org