New Findings from CAMH’s Health Promotion Resource Centre on Mental Health Promotion in Ontario

This past year, the CAMH Health Promotion Resource Centre (CAMH HPRC) launched a new report that outlines the substantial amount of mental health promotion (MHP) work being done across the province of Ontario. CAMH HPRC is part of the Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) in the Provincial System Support Program (PSSP) at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH). EENet is a provincial knowledge exchange network that brings together mental health and addiction stakeholders from across Ontario.

Based on results of a 2015 provincial survey of Ontario’s 36 public health units (PHU), the report documents current MHP activities—activities that work to increase self-esteem, coping skills, social support, and well-being in all individuals and communities—in public health being delivered for Ontarians of all ages and stages. The report also identifies specific MHP activities occurring for adults 18 years and older, making it the first report of its kind in Ontario. Several characteristics of these activities are worth highlighting:

  • All 36 PHUs were engaged in MHP for Ontarians of all ages and stages;
  • MHP activities for adults were concentrated among new parents/postnatal mothers, parents/guardians of children and youth, and pregnant women, with fewer activities for young adults, seniors, newcomers/immigrants/refugees, LGBTTTIQ individuals, and First Nations, Inuit and Métis (FNIM) groups;
  • Groups of PHUs (i.e. peer groups) with urban characteristics reported more activities than other groups of PHUs.

The report acknowledges that there’s always room for improvement and makes five recommendations to help identify mechanisms and opportunities to better integrate MHP as part of public health unit practice. For instance, the report recommends establishing a common understanding of MHP to inform cohesive, consistent, and measurable strategies for promoting mental health across Ontario’s PHUs, the public health sector, and other sectors.

“This report is another step towards strengthening partnerships, mental health promotion capacity, and knowledge exchange efforts between public health and other allied system partners,” said Tamar Meyer, Supervisor of CAMH HPRC. “It provides the system-level evidence we need to collaborate across sectors and enhance the role of mental health promotion in Ontario.”

Learn more about the Pathways report!

Find the full report, English and French summaries, and an infographic with the survey results on CAMH HPRC’s website.

Or, view a recently held webinar sharing the survey results here!


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