Public mental health is a relatively new focus within public health practice. There have been recent but notable changes to public health with an increasing focus on health promotion, mental health and behaviour change as underpinning factors of many associated public health improvement issues. In recognition of many shared skills between psychologists and public health specialists (e.g. data analysis, critical analysis, behaviour change, policy analysis, ethics and leadership), the Public Mental Health Division in Kent County Council attempts to place mental health and wellbeing, together with knowledge and understanding from psychology, as core theoretical underpinnings of public health programmes. Public health can provide a strategic and system-wide leadership opportunity for psychologists to work on a population level in different areas (e.g. domestic violence, drug and alcohol dependency, children’s mental health, parenting, maternal mental health, suicide, bereavement, older adults, equity of mental health care provision and commissioning).
This presentation will discuss our planning and implementation process to bring components of public mental health into the clinical training programme focusing on three initial areas: policy, research and placement opportunities.
Results and conclusion:
In partnership with Kent County Council Public Health, the course has implemented three assessed components: a group policy report in public mental health in the first year, research opportunities in years 1-3 and a 6 month long non-clinical public mental health placement in year 3.