Mental health promotion: concept and practice

Main Article Content

George Christodoulou
Nikos G. Christodoulou


The differences between prevention and promotion are outlined and it is postulated that whilst prevention deals with illness, promotion deals with health. The various definitions of health and mental health are critically reviewed, the targets of mental health promotion are outlined, the relevance of the holistic approach, stigma and discrimination against patients and their careers, the person-centered approach and evidence-based information is examined and the conditions for which there is evidence of effectiveness of mental health promotion strategies are mentioned. Lastly, some paradigms of mental health promotion are presented and discussed, including the Athens Mental Health Promotion project.

Article Details

Clinical and Electronic Communication
Author Biography

George Christodoulou, Athens University and Honorary Chairman, Section of Preventive Psychiatry, World Psychiatric Association

George Christodoulou is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of Athens, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCP). He is also Honorary President of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association and the Cyprus Psychiatric Association, as well as Honorary President of the Psychiatric Association of Eastern Europe and the Balkans (PAEEB). Professor Christodoulou is an Honorary Fellow of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), for whom he has served as Founding Chair of the Section of Preventive Psychiatry, Executive Committee Member and Chair of the Ethics Committee and of the Institutional Programme on Disasters and Mental Health. As Secretary for Sections of the World Psychiatric Associations he has organized the scientific sections of this Association in a paradigmatic way and has received a special distinction by the Sections for his “unprecedented contribution”. He has published extensively, has been Editor of Psychiatriki for 10 years, has served on the Editorial Board of 10 journals and has edited or co-edited more than 40 books, among them “Psychosomatic Medicine”, three volumes on Preventive Psychiatry, three volumes of the book “Advances in Psychiatry”, two volumes of “Psychiatriki” (Textbook of Psychiatry for medical students) etc.  Presently Professor Christodoulou is Vice-President for Europe of the World Federation for Mental Health (WFMH), Editor in chief of the international journal "European Psychiatric Review" and honorary editor of the journal "Psychiatriki", the official journal of the Hellenic Psychiatric Association.


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