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Mental health promotion competencies in the health sector based on a Delphi study

Nina Tamminen (WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Policy, Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland) (Department of Health Sciences, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Pia Solin (WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health Promotion, Prevention and Policy, Mental Health Unit, National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland)
Lasse Kannas (Research Center for Health Promotion, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyväskylä, Finland)
Hannu Linturi (Method Developer Community, Metodix Ltd, Helsinki, Finland)
Eija Stengård (Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, City of Tampere, Tampere, Finland) (University of Tampere, Tampere, Finland)
Tarja Kettunen (Research Center for Health Promotion, University of Jyvaskyla, Jyväskylä, Finland) (Central Finland Health Care District, Jyväskylä, Finland)

The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice

ISSN: 1755-6228

Publication date: 12 October 2018

Issue publication date: 14 November 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Effective public mental health policy and practice call for a trained workforce that is competent in mental health promotion and delivering on improved mental health. Systematic information on what competencies are needed for mental health promotion practice in the health sector is lacking. The purpose of this paper is to investigate these competencies for mental health promotion.

Design/methodology/approach

A Delphi survey was carried out to facilitate a consensus-building process on development of the competencies. Professionals (n=32) working in mental health and mental health promotion took part in the survey. The experts were asked their professional views on the needed competencies as well as to rank the importance of the competencies. Two questionnaire rounds were carried out in order to reach consensus.

Findings

In total, 16 main competencies and 56 subcompetencies were identified through the Delphi survey. The competencies were divided into three category domains: theoretical knowledge, practical skills and attitudes and values each category representing an important aspect of mental health promotion competency.

Practical implications

The competencies provide a resource for workforce development, as they illustrate what theoretical knowledge, practical skills and attitudes and values are required. They provide an instrument to enhance education and training programmes in mental health promotion contributing to a more skilled workforce and improved quality of practice as well.

Originality/value

A strong consensus was reached within the participating experts, them viewing all competencies as important. The identified competencies highlight the great variety of different competencies and competency areas that are needed for effective mental health promotion practice in the health sector.

Keywords

Citation

Tamminen, N., Solin, P., Kannas, L., Linturi, H., Stengård, E. and Kettunen, T. (2018), "Mental health promotion competencies in the health sector based on a Delphi study", The Journal of Mental Health Training, Education and Practice, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 297-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMHTEP-01-2018-0003

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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