18.1.1  What are we trying to achieve?

By raising awareness about mental health and illness, we are trying to achieve the following goals:

  • Mental health promotion and primary prevention. By mental health promotion we mean educating people about ways to improve their mental health. In primary prevention, the aim is to prevent a person from developing a mental illness in the first place. The strategies for improving mental health and avoiding mental illness are similar, so we will group them together.
  • Secondary prevention means detecting mental illness as quickly as possible so that the person can receive treatment before the illness progresses.
  • Tertiary prevention means trying to reduce some of the negative effects of a mental illness that has already developed.

In the following sections these promotion and prevention activities will be discussed in more detail.

18.1  Raising awareness about mental health

18.2  Mental health promotion and primary prevention