Final Lessons from the Field Trials
In the course of the ProMenPol project several organisations and institutions from different settings have conducted Field Trials of MHP tools or reported on prior mental health promotion (MHP) implementation experiences. The aim of the Field Trials was to obtain experiences from practice on the implementation of MHP tools.
Several pilot sites reported on the lessons learned during implementation. The responses from practice provide significant insights which can help to strengthen the mental health capacity of institutions and organisations. Furthermore, the feedback from various practices will help to strengthen the links between practice, science and policy in the field of mental health promotion and protection.
Through its Field Trials, ProMenPol has received practice reports from six schools, seven workplaces and three older people’s residences. A total of 16 reports are available, which describe the learning experiences and recommendations which can be drawn for policy and practice in the field.
The majority of organisations and institutions had a good or very good experience of implementation and most reported that their MHP initiative succeeded. The desired goals were achieved and the Field Trials reported a high level of acceptance for the MHP tools used. In addition, the target groups (pupils, employees or residents) reported high levels of satisfaction. Field Trial participants reported valuable and sustainable organisational changes, including positive effects on mental health and an increased sense of well-being among the individuals involved.
In addition, the Pilot Sites provided valuable feedback and lessons learned. In relation to the practice of MHP, the lessons learned were:
- Increased awareness and knowledge of mental health promotion
- The importance of using well designed and structured, user-friendly and easy to implement MHP initiatives
- The benefits of using project management techniques
- The need to tailor the intervention to the specific needs of your target group (respect the diversity of the target group and involve them in the planning if possible)
- Ensure high levels of participation
- Adapt the MHP tool as necessary (e.g. avoid overlapping with existing initiatives)
- Make sure you have enough preparation and implementation time and make a realistic schedule for the initiative
- Provide appropriate training, resources and a supportive and encouraging environment
- Seek the support and involvement of skilled staff
- Evaluate the MHP implementation on a continuous basis.
In relation to MHP policy, the lessons learned included:
- Ensure sufficient resources (e.g. skilled staff, training) and financial support (e.g. funding, grants) are available
- There is a need to have a developmental element to policy (e.g. parental work, staff support, counselling)
- There is a need for Mental Health education and curriculum development (e.g. primary and secondary schools but also for trainers in the field)
- Conduct awareness programmes on MHP (e.g. media campaigns such as anti-stigma)
- Find local MHP champions for policy initiatives
- Integrate MHP in physical activity programmes and in health and safety laws
- Support the development of co-operative relationships and networks between experts and practitioners in the field
- Promote a more widespread discussion about MHP and well-being issues in a larger context
Examples of Good Practices - Lessons from the Settings