Public mental health: evidenced-based priorities
The Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report, 2013, Public Mental Health Priorities: Investing in the Evidence
, will be published in England this week.
This report, similarly to others before it, brings together the best evidence about mental health and is set within a contemporary policy context that informs the Chief Medical Officer's recommendations.
Unlike many other areas of health, public mental health is difficult to define because there are contested boundaries and terminology. Although the varied landscape is undoubtedly a potential strength, we are concerned by an inability to agree about fundamental issues in this broad field.
These issues include the definition and key components of public mental health; the relation of concepts within mental health to one another; how mental health variations of importance are measured and experienced; the value placed on mental health and its consistency across society; and our approach to the generation, accumulation, and assessment of evidence and policy in public mental health.
We discuss these topics further in the Chief Medical Officer's Annual Report, in a chapter written by S Davies and N Mehta, who are also authors of this Viewpoint.