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Towards a Mentally Flourishing Scotland: The Future of Mental Health Improvement in Scotland 2008-11


Appendix B - Examples of risk and protective factors for mental health and mental wellbeing

Protective Factors

Risk Factors

Individual level

positive sense of self
good coping skills
attachment to family
social skills
good physical health

low self-esteem
low self-efficacy
poor coping skills
insecure attachment in childhood
physical and intellectual disability

Social level

positive experience of early attachment
supportive caring parents/family
good communication skills
supportive social relationships
sense of social belonging
community participation

abuse and violence
separation and loss
peer rejection
social isolation

Structural level

safe and secure living environment
economic security
positive educational experience
access to support services

neighbourhood violence and crime
unemployment/economic insecurity
school failure
social or cultural discrimination
lack of support services

Margaret M. Barry and Rachel Jenkins (2007) Implementing Mental Health Promotion Churchill Livingstone Elsevier