Open Access Open Badges Correspondence

Developing European guidelines for training care professionals in mental health promotion

Tim Greacen1*, Emmanuelle Jouet1, Peter Ryan2, Zoltan Cserhati3, Vera Grebenc4, Chris Griffiths2, Bettina Hansen5, Eithne Leahy6, Ksenija Maravic da Silva7, Amra Šabić4, Angela De Marco8 and Paz Flores9

Author Affiliations

1 Etablissement public de santé Maison Blanche, Paris, France

2 Middlesex University, London, United Kingdom

3 Semmelweis University, Institute of Behavioural Sciences, Budapest, Hungary

4 Faculty of Social Work, University of Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia

5 Human Resources Department, Capacity Building Unit, Central Region, Denmark

6 Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain

7 University of Primorska, Koper, Slovenia

8 University of Molise, Campobasso, Italy

9 Centre Fòrum, Institut de Neuropsiquiatria i Adiccions, Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute, Barcelona, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1114  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1114

Published: 27 December 2012



Although mental health promotion is a priority mental health action area for all European countries, high level training resources and high quality skills acquisition in mental health promotion are still relatively rare. The aim of the current paper is to present the results of the DG SANCO-funded PROMISE project concerning the development of European guidelines for training social and health care professionals in mental health promotion.


The PROMISE project brought together a multidisciplinary scientific committee from eight European sites representing a variety of institutions including universities, mental health service providers and public health organisations. The committee used thematic content analysis to filter and analyse European and international policy documents, scientific literature reviews on mental health promotion and existing mental health promotion programmes with regard to identifying quality criteria for training care professionals on this subject. The resulting PROMISE Guidelines quality criteria were then subjected to an iterative feedback procedure with local steering groups and training professionals at all sites with the aim of developing resource kits and evaluation tools for using the PROMISE Guidelines. Scientific committees also collected information from European, national and local stakeholder groups and professional organisations on existing training programmes, policies and projects.


The process identified ten quality criteria for training care professionals in mental health promotion: embracing the principle of positive mental health; empowering community stakeholders; adopting an interdisciplinary and intersectoral approach; including people with mental health problems; advocating; consulting the knowledge base; adapting interventions to local contexts; identifying and evaluating risks; using the media; evaluating training, implementation processes and outcomes. The iterative feedback process produced resource kits and evaluation checklists linked with each of these quality criteria in all PROMISE languages.


The development of generic guidelines based on key quality criteria for training health and social care professionals in mental health promotion should contribute in a significant way to implementing policy in this important area.

Mental health promotion; Training; Best practice guidelines