Mental health - community strategies

Our mental health affects how we think, feel and act. It also influences how we handle stress, work productively and contribute to our community.1

The good news is that communities can help increase positive mental health!

The strategies listed below offer some ideas to guide activities to promote or increase positive mental health in your community. To make the greatest impact, it is best to implement more than one strategy. Activities that work to change the social, physical, and economic aspects of a community, as well as local policies will have the best results. It is important to start where you are at. This may mean starting with one area of change and then building on it in other areas over time.

Ways to take action

All of the strategies below are based on current research, have been tested and shown to work. See the methods section for more information on how these strategies were developed.

Arts-based activities can promote social support and community engagement.

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Awareness and education campaigns can reduce common misunderstandings about mental health.

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Volunteering can promote social interaction which contributes to positive mental health.

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Support communities to promote positive mental health by providing links to appropriate resources.

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Gardening can increase motivation, self-esteem, social and mental health.

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  1. World Health Organization (WHO). Mental health: a state of well-being. Geneva (SW): World Health Organization; 2014. Available from: http://www.who.int/features/factfiles/mental_health/en/.

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