Date of Defense:
August 8, 2012
Increased attention on linkages between mental health and other health issues has caused many state public health agencies to look towards health promotion and illness prevention tactics. This needs assessment is a starting point for the Minnesota Department of Health’s future initiatives regarding mental health promotion and prevention. This study relies, in part, on secondary data extracted from Minnesota’s Local Public Health Planning and Performance Measurement Reporting System (PPMRS) to describe current types and levels of mental health programming at local agencies statewide.
Key informant interviews were conducted and focused on four structured topics are as: 1) definitions of mental health promotion and prevention, 2) perceived need for mental health promotion/prevention programming, 3) barriers to and community assets related to mental health promotion and prevention programs/activities, and 4) how the Minnesota Department of Health can support an increased focus on mental health promotion and prevention.
Results from two sources of study data demonstrate that, while there is agreement among public health professionals that mental health is related to overall health, local agencies’ ability to focus on mental health promotion and prevention is influenced by the following factors: the lack of universal definitions for mental health promotion and prevention, unspecific measurement/evaluation tools, stretched finances, and more immediate client needs