Mental wellbeing is a fundamental element of our overall health. Mental wellbeing influences how we think, feel and act and positive wellbeing can drive positive health behaviours and health outcomes.
A state of positive wellbeing can be considered as “feeling good and functioning well”, such that an individual is able to live a life that is meaningful to them and able to engage with community life in the way that they wish. This requires communities to be inclusive and welcoming, enabling individuals to access activities, support and participate with collective experiences.
The Individual and Community Mental Wellbeing Team within the Health Improvement Division provide evidence-based advice, guidance and tools to support individuals and partner organisations to protect and promote mental wellbeing. This page provides information on our key programmes of work.
PHW have produced a conceptual framework which depicts the relationship between individual and community wellbeing and key elements that influence wellbeing at each level.
Public Health Wales undertook work with both internal and external stakeholders including members of the public to develop the framework. The framework draws on both psychological and sociological literature to describe concepts and why they are important for mental wellbeing. The model depicts current understanding of concepts that impact on wellbeing and is likely to evolve overtime as the underpinning evidence-base evolves and as further feedback on the model is received.
Community empowerment that initiates greater individual and collective control is health promoting in its own right. Empowerment also improves social relationships at the individual and population level, and when empowered individuals are engaged in service improvement work, service development and delivery is better and more likely to meet the needs of service users.
Empowerment aims to enable people to take control of the actions and decisions that affect their lives; a sense of control is an important aspect of positive mental wellbeing.
Empowerment is not something professionals or organisations ‘do to’ a community, however it is our job to create the conditions whereby communities can take power. To this end Public Health Wales worked with others including community facing organisations and members of the public through a series of workshops to develop a resource aimed at guiding community engagement practice in Wales. The ‘Principles of Community Engagement for Empowerment’ aim to encourage reflective practice when working with and for communities.