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Promoting mental health demands actions that improve resilience in individuals, families and communities, and ensure health enhancing policy and legislative frameworks. These actions are at the heart of human development and can assist in improving social and economic prospects for people in low-to middle income countries.

The book provides a conceptual and theoretical base for the application of mental health promotion and prevention of mental disorders in low-resource settings - offering examples of evidence-based programmes across the lifespan.

With contributions from a range of experts, this is a key text for students and practitioners, as well as for policy-makers and planners, in mental and public health.

Product information

Format : 240mm x 168mm (Soft Cover)
Pages : 256
ISBN 10 : 0-7969-2303-5
ISBN 13 : 978-07969-2303-5
Publish Year : 2010
Rights : World Rights

Acronyms and abbreviations

Part I The imperative for and emerging practice of mental health promotion and prevention in low resourced contexts

1. At the heart of development: An introduction to mental health promotion and prevention for poorly resourced countries
Inge Petersen

2. Theoretical considerations: From understanding to interventions
Inge Petersen and Kay Govender

3. Contextual issues in mental health promotion and prevention
Leslie Swartz

4. Evaluating interventions
Arvin Bhana and Advaita Govender

5. From science to service
Inge Petersen

Part II Mental health promotion and prevention across the lifespan

6. Early childhood (birth6 years)
Linda Richter, Andrew Dawes and Julia de Kadt

7. Middle childhood and pre-adolescence (711 years)
Arvin Bhana

8. Adolescence (1219 years)
Alan J Flisher and Ank Gevers

9. Adulthood
Leslie Swartz and Helen Herrman

10 Old age
Martin Prince

11. Afterword: Cross-cutting issues central to human and economic development in low resourced contexts
Inge Petersen, Alan J Flisher and Arvin Bhana


The HSRC Press has recently published a pioneering new volume entitled Promoting mental health in scarce-resource contexts: Emerging evidence and practice. The book is edited by Inge Petersen, Arvin Bhana, Alan J Flisher, Leslie Swartz & Linda Richter.The Press spoke to two of editors of the book – Inge Petersen and Arvin Bhana, at the launch of the book in Durban, South Africa. Inge Petersen is Professor of Psychology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. Arvin Bhana is Deputy Executive Director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council. Listen to Inge Petersen and Arvin Bhana discuss what the book is about and explain why promoting mental health demands actions that enhance resilience in individuals, families and communities, and ensure health enhancing policy and legislative frameworks.

Duration: 4 min 35 sec

Inge Petersen, PhD: Professor of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Arvin Bhana, PhD: Deputy Executive Director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council and Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Alan J. Flisher, FCPsych (SA), PhD: Sue Streungmann Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health, Head of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and Director of the Adolescent Health Research Unit, University of Cape Town.

Leslie Swartz, PhD: Professor of Psychology, University of Stellenbosch.

Linda Richter, PhD: Executive Director of the Child, Youth, Family and Social Development Research Programme, Human Sciences Research Council and Honorary Professor of Psychology and elected Fellow, University of KwaZulu-Natal, and Honorary Professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Health, University of the Witwatersrand.

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