Implementing Mental Health Promotion in Secondary Schools in Australia
Two decades ago the Australian Health Ministers (AHM) began the process of major reform for mental health in Australia with the launch of the “First National Mental Health Plan” (Australian Health Ministers, 1992; see also Australian Health Ministers, 1998.). From this beginning a series of documents have guided a range of initiatives. The framework for action was elucidated in 2000 in the “National Action Plan for Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health” (Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, 2000a) with its accompanying document “Promotion, Prevention and Early Intervention for Mental Health: A Monograph” (Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, 2000b). These last two documents articulated a broad understanding of mental health and wellbeing, informed by both the mental health and public health sectors. They acknowledged the need to adopt a population health approach, mental health as a positive concept and collaboration as essential to achieve the proposed outcomes. The population health orientation exemplifies the prevention paradox: the benefits to individuals being small but with a large effect for populations (Scanlon, 2002). The partnership orientation between mental health and public health professionals represents leading ...