The promotion of information and understanding relating to mental health and people's experiences of mental health (1).
Awareness and literacy in professionals, including teachers and GPs, can provide early detection of mental health difficulties and connect people with appropriate treatment (2,3). A further aspect is mental health advocacy, which targets major structural and attitudinal barriers to reduce stigma and discrimination as well as to promote human rights and improve access to mental health care (4).
Raising awareness is a protective factor for mental health as it can equip people with the ability to identify and assist with mental health issues, reduce stigma, and educate about how to seek help (5).
1. Wieman R. Topic Expert Roundup: What Does Mental Health Awareness Mean to Therapists? [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2021 Jan 13]. Available from: https://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/what-does-mental-health-awareness-mean-to-therapists-0513134
2. Langeveld J, Joa I, Larsen TK, Rennan JA, Cosmovici E, Johannessen JO. Teachers’ awareness for psychotic symptoms in secondary school: the effects of an early detection programme and information campaign. Early Interv Psychiatry [Internet]. 2011 May 1 [cited 2021 Feb 25];5(2):115–21. Available from: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.1751-7893.2010.00248.x
3. McCaffrey ESN, Chang S, Farrelly G, Rahman A, Cawthorpe D. Mental health literacy in primary care: Canadian Research and Education for the Advancement of Child Health (CanREACH). Evid Based Med [Internet]. 2017 Aug 1 [cited 2021 Feb 26];22(4):123–31. Available from: http://ebm.bmj.com/
4. World Health Organization. Advocacy for mental health. Geneva; 2003.
5. Ahorsu DK, Sánchez Vidaña DI, Lipardo D, Shah PB, Cruz González P, Shende S, et al. Effect of a peer‐led intervention combining mental health promotion with coping‐strategy‐based workshops on mental health awareness, help‐seeking behavior, and wellbeing among university students in Hong Kong. Int J Ment Health Syst [Internet]. 2021 Dec 1 [cited 2021 Jan 22];15(1):1–10. Available from: https://link.springer.com/articles/10.1186/s13033-020-00432-0