The value of model programmes in mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention
SourceJournal of Public Mental Health, 1, 2, (1999), pp. 4-16
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
Journal of Public Mental Health
SubjectExperimental Psychopathology and Treatment
This article discusses the state of the art concerning the meaning and value of model programmes in mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention. Model programmes are considered an important instrument for improving the quality, social impact and cost-effectiveness of promotion and prevention. However, there is a lack of conceptual clarity and insight in the processes and mechanisms for successful use of model programmes in this field. This article offers a further clarification of the concept of model programmes and discusses its pros and cons and current views on the process of programme development and programme use. The discussion will be based particularly on recent experiences with model programmes in Europe. Until recently, prevention research was directed mainly at the design and testing of new model programmes. However, successful use of the ‘model programme strategy’ requires more attention to the pre-conditions for effective dissemination, adoption and implementation of model programmes. Only when this multi-phased process is taken into account and the required pre-conditions and quality criteria are specified can one expect that model programmes will be more effective at a community level. The consequences of this view for prevention science and prevention research policies are discussed. To implement such a multi-phased process successfully, not only are conceptual clarity and a scientific underpinning crucial, but also collaborative organisational structures are needed at national and international level if the range of complementary tasks is to be executed effectively and efficiently.
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