Boundaries of public health: towards public mental health ethics

Year of award: 2018


  • Lovro Savic

    University of Oxford

Project summary

Public mental health interventions refer to health practices that aim to protect and promote mental health and wellbeing in the whole population rather than the mental health needs of individual patients. Interventions that are being considered include public interventions to improve people’s ‘mindfulness’, anti-addiction vaccination programmes, the use of neighbourhood watch schemes to improve outcomes in dementia, and screening for the early onset of mental illness in schools-aged children.

I will examine these interventions and the ethical issues that surround them considering the difficulty in defining mental ill-health and issues such as stigma. I will also describe public mental health ethics in a way that could clarify which interventions are ethically justified.