The RSPH is pleased to support the production and publication of the PPerth Charter for the Promotion of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Following on from the Ottawa Charter, the focus of which was primarily physical health, the Perth Charter places needed emphasis on the role of health promotion for mental health, taking a step towards the integration of physical and mental health promotion.

The Perth Charter is an outcome of the Seventh World Conference on the Promotion of Mental Health and the Prevention of Mental and Behavioural Disorders held 17-19 October in Perth, Western Australia. Development of the Perth Charter was coordinated by the Clifford Beers Foundation (UK) and Mentally Healthy WA (Curtin University, Western Australia).

The RSPH believes that mental health should have equal status with physical health. Health improvement must incorporate both to allow individuals to lead healthy lifestyles. We see mental health as ‘everybody’s business’, from the individual to community level to local and national government. We believe the use of Health Champions to enable healthy conversations and provide signposting as central to this. In agreement with the Charter, we view social and emotional wellbeing as requiring a life course approach, with particular focus required in early childhood. The Perth Charter is proposed as a ‘work-in-progress’ and it is envisaged that the Charter will be updated on an annual basis. Click on the Perth charter for the promotion of mental health and wellbeing to read the full report.

The RSPH is particularly keen to ensure that national education and training pathways are developed to support the wider health workforce in understanding the fundamental importance of mental health and wellbeing and its impact on general healthy lifestyles and behaviours.

In July 2012, the RSPH pledged to develop a range of accessible, short training programmes and a linked accredited qualification to support the implementation of the No Health Without Mental Health framework (Department of Health, 2012). These programmes will focus on increasing awareness about mental health and wellbeing within the many professions, practitioner groups and organisations in the voluntary, public and private sectors who work to improve population health and wellbeing. They will aim to strengthen capacity and capability to provide universal and targeted support at community and workplace level and be aligned with existing peer-to-peer approaches such as health champions and community connectors.

The RSPH also accredits a number of mental health training programmes to support the wider public health workforce and we will shortly be launching the Level 2 Award in Mental Health and Wellbeing.