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The incidence and costs associated with mental distress and ill health are substantial and expected to rise. There is an equally rapid proliferation of ‘solutions’ and responses at societal, organisational and individual level. This project sets out to identify useful and practical approaches to the promotion and protection of mental health amongst this wide diversity of theories, models and methods, to form the basis for a systematic multidimensional approach to promoting personal mental health and managing the risk factors that predispose distress and pathology.

The project consists of three phases, each of which has its own dissemination mechanism and objectives. Phase 1 will conceptualise and characterise the field, build an effective dissemination platform and identify the key policy drivers and imperatives for Mental Health at EU and Member State level. Phase 2 will focus upon the preparation of Toolkits, bringing together current good practice, customised to three life stages and three contexts, i.e. school, the workplace and residences for older people and produce a proposal for a ‘cross-sectoral’ mental health policy platform. Phase 3 will promote the implementation of pilot projects to review the practicality and usefulness of the toolkits and, based on the feedback from the pilot sites, review and revise the instruments and promote a consensus policy platform on mental health within the EU.

Working with both specialist and mainstream researchers, stakeholders, networks, professionals, practitioners and representative organisations, the project intends to build a conceptual framework, scope the research and policy horizon, construct an easy to use knowledge management system, provide a set of evaluated tools for practitioners, develop an overarching multi-sectoral policy platform and create a sustainable collaboration between the key actors to carry forward the results and deliverables. 

ProMenPol is a 36-month project being undertaken by partners from the Germany, Austria, Ireland, Finland, Estonia, Greece and Belgium. The project is a co-ordination action funded by the European Commission under the 6th Framework Programme.

Within the 6th Framework Programme ProMenPol is located in Area 2 (“Providing health, security and opportunity to the people of Europe”) and its Sub-Area 2.1, whose thematic priorities are health determinants and the provision of high quality and sustainable health care services and pension systems (in particular in the context of ageing and demographic change).

One of the tasks of Sub-Area 2.1 projects is to improve the understanding of health determinants (specifically: to increase understanding/knowledge across Member States in research terms, of health promotion and health protection policy for mental health, comparison of best practice, the prevention of mental disorders in environments such as educational institutions, workplaces, residential homes for the elderly, together with an identification of the impact of such measures on cognitive and emotional development).