Michael Murray, The Clifford Beers Foundation, 5 Castle Way, Stafford, UK, ST16 1BS. Tel: 00 44 (0)1785 246668.

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The 8th World Congress on the Promotion of Mental Health and the

Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders

Imperial College, London, September 24th-26th, 2014


The 1st World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders was hosted by President and Mrs Carter at the Carter Center in 2000. Following the success of the inaugural Conference further World Conferences have been presented across the globe.

An over-arching objective for the previous seven world conferences has been to work towards developing a more comprehensive appreciation of what it means to be mentally healthy. Consequently, in moving forward the 2014 Congress will take a proactive approach in highlighting the need for the promotion of mental wellbeing in all groups of society.

The promotion of mental wellbeing requires a whole-population focus which also targets groups at higher risk of poor mental wellbeing to prevent widening of inequalities. People with mental disorder are one such group and since a quarter of the population experiences a mental disorder each year, they represent a particularly large group who benefit from targeted wellbeing promotion to both promote recovery and prevent relapse. Prevention of mental disorder is also important since this is an important underlying driver of poor mental wellbeing.

Wellbeing promotion also requires effective collaboration between a range of organisations including governments. The Congress will highlight the broad range of impacts of mental wellbeing and how action to promote mental wellbeing is therefore relevant to a broad range of organisations. The factors underpinning mental wellbeing are in large part social and not only medical in nature.

Accordingly, the Congress will strive to attract a wide range of community competencies and expertise as the promotion of mental wellbeing requires a wide spectrum of skills and trained personnel working in the public as well as private sectors. These include, for example, transport, education, leisure, housing and health services.

Mental wellbeing is a critical issue for governments, communities and individuals. Now is a particularly opportune moment to explore the role of government in the promotion of mental wellbeing. The recession continues to increase the risk adversely affecting mental wellbeing and is an additional reason for action.