Researching the implementation of community mental health promotion programs

Health Promot J Austr. 2007 Dec;18(3):240-6. doi: 10.1071/he07240.


Understanding the process of program implementation plays a critical role in advancing research, practice and policy in mental health promotion. This paper focuses on the implementation of community mental health promotion and considers the challenges presented in implementing and evaluating complex, multifaceted interventions carried out in the context of dynamic community settings. The Rural Mental Health Project1-3 is presented as a case study to illustrate the practical and research challenges encountered in implementing and evaluating a community mental health promotion initiative. This case study highlights the factors that contributed to the successful implementation and evaluation of a community-based intervention for rural communities on the border region in the Republic and Northern Ireland. Among the factors identified are: a partnership model of working; local co-ordinating structures and consultation mechanisms; use of a structured planning model to guide program planning and implementation; mobilisation of cross-community and inter-agency support; and a comprehensive logic evaluation framework to assess the input, process, impact and outcomes of the project as it unfolded.

MeSH terms

  • Community Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Health Promotion / organization & administration*
  • Humans
  • Organizational Case Studies
  • Program Development
  • Program Evaluation
  • Rural Population