Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Good Mental Health Equals Economic, Social Wealth

First I found this article to be a very good read. You must sign into the site to read some things.

>>> Countries must learn to capitalize on their citizens' cognitive resources to ensure future economic and social prosperity, new research suggests.
A feature paper entitled "The mental wealth of nations" published online October 23 in Nature asserts that early intervention is key to improving citizens' "mental capital" and well-being.
Produced by a team of researchers led by John Beddington, chief scientific adviser to the UK government, the article summarizes the findings of the Foresight Project on Mental Capital and Well-Being, a peer-reviewed study that took 2 years to complete and involved more than 450 experts and stakeholders from 16 countries.
"How a nation develops and uses its mental capital not only has a significant effect on its economic competitiveness and prosperity but is also important for mental health and well-being and social cohesion and inclusion," the authors write.
The study's purpose is to evaluate state-of-the-art scientific evidence and provide an independent assessment that will inform policy-makers worldwide about the global challenges presented by depression, dementia, learning difficulties, and poor mental health over the next 20 years.
The authors support a "cradle-to-grave" approach to mental health and well-being that includes the development of initiatives to support early diagnosis and treatment of childhood learning difficulties; workplace environments that foster good mental health through well-being audits and flexible work hours; and programs that promote learning among older individuals in a bid to keep cognitive decline at bay.
"Our project shows that governments and others have tremendous opportunities to create environments in which mental capital and well-being flourish. However, failure to act could have severe consequences," the authors write.


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