Prevention and Promotion Approaches

We need to have a focus on prevention if we are to make a difference to the mental health and wellbeing of all Australians. 

The promotion of mental health and wellbeing, prevention of mental ill-health and early intervention have been identified as priorities in national and state policies since the First National Mental Health Plan in 1992, but this has been poorly operationalised, coordinated and monitored.  While national documents have prioritised  prevention and early intervention, the majority of state and federal funding continues to be concentrated in downstream mental health interventions, treating mental health problems once they are severe.

Prevention-focused approaches in mental health are more cost-effective than treatment approaches, not to mention the fact that the growing burden of mental ill-health cannot reasonably be stemmed by treating one individual at a time.

Investing in the promotion of mental health and wellbeing and the prevention of mental ill-health leads not only to a more efficient use of mental health resources, it has a flow-on effect for a range of services including general health care, drug and alcohol services, education, child and family services and the justice system.

The Hunter Institute of Mental Health is a leading voice on the prevention of mental ill-health and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing.  It is a core pillar of our work. 

For 25 years we have been working across diverse sectors delivering successful, evidence-based prevention and promotion programs, research, training and policy.

Through our work, the Hunter Institute:

  • builds the capacity of individuals, families, organisations and communities so they can contribute to the reduction of mental ill-health and its impacts
  • translates evidence into practical resources, programs and approaches that are fit-for-purpose across different sectors and communities
  • develops and tests new approaches to the prevention of mental ill-health and the promotion of mental health and wellbeing
  • leads translational research to inform our work and the work of others
  • collaborates with and supports other services and communities to deliver better outcomes across Australia. 
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