WHO proposition is that there can be no physical health without mental health. This has been endorsed by the Pan American Health Organisation, the European Union Council of Ministers, the World Federation of Mental Health, and the UK Royal College of Psychiatrists.
It now emerging that mental health awareness needs to be integrated into all elements of health and social policy, health-system planning, and health-care delivery. Sophisticated evidence based arguments to increase resources for mental health care should be linked to evidence for its wider importance to public health. Mental health needs to be recognised as an integral component of practice in primary and secondary health care.
The National policy on mental health says that a healthy, safe and enriching physical and social environment promotes individual and community mental health. The predictable negative influences on mental health of poverty, discrimination, malnutrition, environmental factors (including access to safe water, toilets and sanitation), exposure to violence and absence of parental figures ( death, divorce or displacement) affect individuals across their life span .
Certain life stages have unique challenges which should be recognised and addressed to promote mental health and overall health and wellbeing of a population. Negative influences have varied impact depending on life stage for example malnutrition affects children worse than adults. There has been a relative neglect both in policy and practice of the promotion of mental health at the community level. There are however organisations and institutions that have experimented, studied and worked on different mental health promotion measures this experience will be build upon.