Adolescent Mental Health Promotion: Could it be Assisted by Considering the Functions of Depression in Young People?

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Abstract:

Evolutionary psychopathology seeks causal explanations of mental illness consistent with theories derived from natural selection. Central to this approach is reasoning about and investigating why such high rates of mental illness occur in early adulthood, specifically during the reproductive years. Preventing mental ill-health is a fundamental aim of mental health promotion, so research programmes devoted to understanding the causality of mental illness should be of prime interest to mental health promotion practitioners and policy makers. This particular understanding of mental health highlights some of the peculiar features of our current lifestyles and environments that facilitate mental ill-health. These are factors beyond the immediate control of most settings where mental health promotion is conducted for adolescents, which could explain why such programmes have not met with much success. Current programmes targeting prevention and stigma reduction around depression may benefit from considering evolutionary psychopathology.

Keywords: EVOLUTIONARY PSYCHOPATHOLOGY; HELP-SEEKING; MENTAL HEALTH PROMOTION

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion co-ordinates the dissemination of new research outcomes to all those involved in policy making and the implementation of mental health promotion and mental disorder prevention policies. It is essential reading for those with a personal or professional interest in this work.

    Peer reviewed by an expert international board, the Journal is a comprehensive information system which publishes material of distinction submitted by clinical/medical staff, health services researchers, managers, health promoters, educationalists, sociologists, health economists and practitioners from all branches of health and social care.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is designed to increase awareness, foster understanding and promote collaboration between the different disciplines engaged in this diverse activity of study.

    The International Journal of Mental Health Promotion is published four times a year and is an official research journal of The International Union for Health Promotion and Education (IUHPE).

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