The mental health status of the Hungarian population is worse, even by European standards, than would be justified by the economic position, competitiveness, and cultural embeddedness of Hungary. A significant proportion of the Hungarian population is facing mental health difficulties entailing a heavy spiritual, social, and economic burden, and also representing potential risk factors causing somatic illness. The mental state of Hungarian society is aggravated by a lack of knowledge, beliefs, prejudices and fear of stigmatisation in relation to mental disorders. Millions of people are potentially suffering from mental health disorders in today’s Hungary; however, most of them are not aware of the actual problem faced or they refuse to confront – for lack of adequate information and in fear of stigmatisation – what is actually causing their illness, generating even bodily symptoms. Reaching targeted segments and groups of society and delivering messages are key for communities that are both sounder and more health-aware from a mental aspect.
This project is the first attempt to build up a comprehensive model which might serve as a basis for future mental health promotion strategies and programmes in Hungary. As part of that, in order to establish a common knowledge base both for professionals and the general public, and for the purpose of evaluating and conjoining the available workforce, a national methodology has been developed; additionally, the feasibility of local implementation models has been evaluated, through measuring the effectiveness of building knowledge, attitudes and networking, within the framework of launching novel Mental Health Promotion Centres (MHPCs) in pre-existing Health Promotion Offices (HPOs), in six micro-regions which are very dissimilar in terms of social and economic measures. Besides studying local models, sectoral and intersectoral policy recommendations have been elaborated, in order to present mental health promotion in all national policies.