Implementation Processes and Strategies for Mental Health Promotion

  • Margaret M. BarryEmail author


The process of implementing mental health promotion interventions is considered in this chapter. An overview is provided of current implementation frameworks and strategies and mental health promotion implementation research, highlighting why implementation is important and what we know from studies that have been carried out to date. The role of collaborative practice and intersectoral partnerships in implementing mental health promotion is discussed. Drawing on the literature, a number of implementation factors that are critical to effective partnership working are examined. Recommendations for supporting quality intervention implementation are outlined.


Process of implementation Implementation research Implementation frameworks and strategies Fidelity Sustainability Scaling-up Intersectoral partnerships Effective partnership working 


  1. Aarons, G. A., Hurlburt, M., & Horwitz, S. M. (2011). Advancing a conceptual model of evidence-based practice implementation in public service sectors. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 38(1), 4–23.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Aveling, E.-L., & Jovchelovitch, S. (2014). Partnerships as knowledge encounters: A psychosocial theory of partnerships for health and community development. Journal of Health Psychology, 19, 34–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Barry, M. M., Clarke, A. M., Petersen, I. (2014). Priorities for implementing the promotion of mental health and primary prevention of mental disorders. Technical evidence paper prepared for the WHO inter-country meeting on implementation of Global Mental Health Action Plan in the Eastern Mediterranean Region. Galway, Ireland: World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion Research, National University of Ireland Galway.Google Scholar
  4. Battistich, V., Schaps, E., Watson, M., Solomon, D., & Lewis, C. (2000). Effects of the child development project on students’ drug use and other problem behaviors. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 21(1), 75–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bracht, N., Kingsbury, L., & Rissel, C. (1999). A five-stage community organization model for health promotion: Empowerment and partnership strategies. In N. Bracht (Ed.), Health promotion at the community level 2: New advances (pp. 83–117). Newbury Park, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Butterfoss, F. D., Goodman, R. M., & Wandersman, A. (1993). Community coalitions for prevention and health promotion. Health Education Research: Theory and Practice, 8(3), 315–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Butterfoss, F. D., & Kegler, M. (2009). Toward a comprehensive understanding of community coalitions: Moving from practice to theory. In R. J. DiClemente, R. A. Crosby, & M. Kegler (Eds.), Emerging theories in health promotion practice and research (2nd ed., pp. 157–193). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  8. Chen, H. (1998). Theory-driven evaluations. In A. J. Reynolds & H. J. Walberg (Eds.), Advances in educational productivity, vol. 7: Evaluation research for educational productivity (pp. 15–34). Greenwich, CT: Elsevier Science/JAI Press.Google Scholar
  9. Clarke, A. M., Bunting, B., & Barry, M. M. (2014). Evaluating the implementation of a school-based emotional well-being programme: A cluster randomized controlled trial of Zippy’s Friends for children in disadvantaged primary schools. Health Education Research, 29(5), 786–798.Google Scholar
  10. Cooper, B. R., Bumbarger, B. K., & Moore, J. E. (2015). Sustaining evidence-based prevention programs: Correlates in a large-scale dissemination initiative. Prevention Science, 16(1), 145–157.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Corbin, J. H., Jones, J., & Barry, M. M. (2016). What makes intersectoral partnerships for health promotion work? A review of the international literature. Health Promotion International, 33(1), 4–26.PubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  12. Corbin, J. H., & Mittelmark, M. B. (2008). Partnership lessons from the global programme for health promotion effectiveness: A case study. Health Promotion International, 23(4), 365–371.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Curran, G. M., Bauer, M., Mittman, B., Pyne, J. M., & Stetler, C. (2012). Effectiveness-implementation hybrid designs: Combining elements of clinical effectiveness and implementation research to enhance public health impact. Medical Care, 50(3), 217–226.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Damschroder, L. J., Aron, D. C., Keith, R. E., Kirsh, S. R., Alexander, J. A., & Lowery, J. C. (2009). Fostering implementation of health services research findings into practice: A consolidated framework for advancing implementation science. Implementation Science, 4(1), 50. Scholar
  15. Dane, A. V., & Schneider, B. H. (1998). Program integrity in primary and early secondary prevention: Are implementation effects out of control? Clinical Psychology Review, 18(1), 23–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Department of Health. (2001). Working in partnership: Developing a whole systems approach. Community-wide self-assessment tool. Resource document. Department of Health, London. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from
  17. Dix, K. L., Slee, P. T., Lawson, M. J., & Keeves, J. P. (2012) Implementation quality of whole-school mental health promotion and students’ academic performance. Child and Adolescent Mental Health 17(1):45–51.Google Scholar
  18. Domitrovich, C. E., & Greenberg, M. T. (2000). The study of implementation: Current findings from effective programs that prevent mental disorders in school-aged children. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 11(2), 193–221.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. DuBois, D. L., Holloway, B. E., Valentine, J. C., & Cooper, H. (2002). Effectiveness of mentoring programs for youth: A meta-analytic review. American Journal of Community Psychology, 30(2), 157–198.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Durlak, J. A. (1995). School-based prevention programs for children and adolescents. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Durlak, J. A. (2016). Programme implementation in social and emotional learning: Basic issues and research findings. Cambridge Journal of Education, 46(3), 333–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Durlak, J. A., & DuPre, E. P. (2008). Implementation matters: A review of research on the influence of implementation on program outcomes and the factors affecting implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3–4), 327–350.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Durlak, J. A., Weissberg, R. P., Dymnicki, A. B., Taylor, R. D., & Schellinger, K. B. (2011). The impact of enhancing students' social and emotional learning: A meta-analysis of school-based universal interventions. Child Development, 82(1), 405–432.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Elliot, S. E., & Mihalic, S. (2004). Issues in disseminating and replicating effective prevention programs. Prevention Science, 5(1), 47–53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Fawcett, S., Sterling, T., Paine-Andrews, A., & Harris, K. J. (1995). Evaluating community efforts to prevent cardiovascular disease. Atlanta, GA: Center for Disease Control.Google Scholar
  26. Fixsen, D. L., Naoom, S. F., Blasé, K. A., Friedman, R. M., Wallace, F. (2005). Implementation research: A synthesis of the literature. Tampa, FL: University of South Florida, Louis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute, The National Implementation Research Network (FMHI Publication #231). Retrieved March 18, 2018, from
  27. Flaspohler, P., Stillman, L., Duffy, J. L., Wandersman, A., & Maras, M. (2008). Unpacking prevention capacity: An intersection of research-to-practice models and community-centered models. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3–4), 182–196.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Foster-Fishman, P. G., Berkowitz, S. L., Lounsbury, D. W., Jacobson, S., & Allen, N. A. (2001). Building collaborative capacity in community coalitions: A review and integrative framework. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(2), 241–261.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Gillies, P. (1998). Effectiveness of alliances and partnerships for health promotion. Health Promotion International, 13(2), 99–120.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Goodman, R. M., Speers, M. A., McLeroy, K., Fawcett, S., Kegler, M., Parker, E., et al. (1998). An attempt to identify and define the dimensions of community capacity to provide a basis for measurement. Health Education and Behavior, 25(3), 258–278.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Goodman, R. M., Wandersman, A., Chinman, M., Imm, P., & Morrissey, E. (1996). An ecological assessment of community-based intervention for prevention and health promotion: Approaches to measuring coalitions. American Journal of Community Psychology, 24(1), 33–61.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Gray, B. (1989). Collaborating finding common ground for multiparty problems. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  33. Greenberg, M. T., Domitrovich, C. E., Graczyk, P. A., & Zins, J. E. (2005). The study of implementation in school-based prevention research: Theory, research, and practice (volume 3). Rockville, MD: Centre for Mental Health Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.Google Scholar
  34. Greenhalgh, T., Robert, G., Bate, P., MacFarlane, F., & Kyrakidou, O. (Eds.). (2005). Diffusion of innovations in health service Organisations: A systematic literature review. Oxford, UK: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  35. Hauf, A. M., & Bond, L. A. (2002). Community-based collaboration in prevention and mental health promotion: Benefiting from and building the resources of partnership. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 4(3), 41–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Himmelman, A. T. (2001). On coalitions and the transformation of power relations: Collaborative betterment and collaborative empowerment. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(2), 277–284.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Jones, J., & Barry, M. M. (2011a). Developing a scale to measure synergy in health promotion partnerships. Global Health Promotion, 18(2), 36–44.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. Jones, J., & Barry, M. M. (2011b). Exploring the relationship between synergy and partnership functioning factors in health promotion partnerships. Health Promotion International, 26(4), 408–420.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Jones, S., Brush, K., Bailey, R., Brion-Meisels, G., McIntyre, J., Kahn, J., … Stickle, L. (2017). Navigating social and emotional learning from the inside out looking inside and across 25 leading SEL programs: A practical resource for schools and OST providers (elementary school focus). New York, NY: Wallace Foundation.Google Scholar
  40. Kam, C. M., Greenberg, M. T., & Walls, C. T. (2003). Examining the role of implementation quality in school-based prevention using the PATHS curriculum. Prevention Science, 4(1), 55–63.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Kaye, G. (1997). Improving and mobilizing the grassroots. In G. Kaye & T. Wolff (Eds.), From the ground up: A workbook on coalition building and community development (pp. 99–122). Amherst, MA: AHEC/Community Partners.Google Scholar
  42. Keith, R. E., Croson, J. C., O’Malley, A. S., Cromp, D., & Taylor, E. F. (2017). Using the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR) to produce actionable findings: A rapid-cycle evaluation approach to improving implementation. Implementation Science, 12(1), 15.Google Scholar
  43. Koelen, M. A., Vaandrager, L., & Wagemakers, A. (2012). The Healthy ALLiances (HALL) framework: Prerequisites for success. Family Practice, 29(S1), i132–i138.Google Scholar
  44. Kreuter, M., Lezin, N., & Young, L. (2000). Evaluating community based collaborative mechanisms: Implications for practitioners. Health Promotion Practice, 1(1), 49–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kumpfer, K. L., Turner, C., Hopkins, R., & Librett, J. (1993). Leadership and team effectiveness in community coalitions for the prevention of alcohol and other drug abuse. Health Education Research, 8(3), 359–374.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Lasker, R. D., & Weiss, E. S. (2003). Creating partnership synergy: The critical role of community stakeholders. Journal of Health and Human Services Administration, 26(1/2), 119–139.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Lasker, R. D., Weiss, E. S., & Miller, R. (2001). Partnership synergy: A practical framework for studying and strengthening the collaborative advantage. Milbank Quarterly, 79(2), 179–205.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. Lendrum, A., & Humphrey, N. (2012). The importance of studying the implementation of interventions in school settings. Oxford Review of Education, 38(5), 635–652.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McKinney, M. M. (1993). Consortium approaches to the delivery of HIV services under the Ryan white CARE act. AIDS and Public Policy Journal, 8, 115–125.Google Scholar
  50. Meyers, D. C., Durlak, J. A., & Wandersman, A. (2012a). The quality implementation framework: A synthesis of critical steps in the implementation process. American Journal of Community Psychology, 50(3–4), 462–480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. Meyers, D. C., Katz, J., Chien, V., Wandersman, A., Scaccia, J. P., & Wright, A. (2012b). Practical implementation science: Developing and piloting the quality implementation tool. American Journal of Community Psychology, 50(3–4), 481–496.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Milat, A. J., Bauman, A., & Redman, S. (2015). Narrative review of models and success factors for scaling up public health interventions. Implementation Science, 10, 113.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Mihalic, S., Fagan, A., Irwin, K., Ballard, D., & Elliott, D. (2004). Blueprints for violence prevention, office of juvenile justice and delinquency prevention, (NCJ 204274), Office of Justice Programs: US Department of Justice. Available at:
  54. Ogden, T., & Fixsen, D. L. (2014). Implementation science: A brief overview and a look ahead. Zeitschrift fur Psychologie, 222(1), 4–11.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Potapchuk, W. R., Crocker, J., & Schechter, H. (1997). Systems reform and local government: Improving outcomes for children, families and neighbourhoods-a working paper. Baltimore, MD: Annie E Casey Foundation.Google Scholar
  56. Proctor, E., Silmere, H., Raghavan, R., Hovmand, P., Aarons, G., Bunger, A., … Hensley, M. (2011). Outcomes for implementation research: Conceptual distinctions, measurement challenges, and research agenda. Administration and Policy in Mental Health, 38(2), 65–76.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Rimm-Kaufman, S. E., Larsen, R. A. A., Baroody, A. E., Curby, T. W., Ko, M., Thomas, J. B., & DeCoster, J. (2014). Efficacy of the responsive classroom approach: Results from a 3-year, longitudinal randomized controlled trial. American Educational Research Journal, 51(3), 567–603.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Roussos, S. T., & Fawcett, S. B. (2000). A review of collaborative partnerships as a strategy for improving community health. Annual Review of Public Health, 21, 369–402.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  59. Silvia, C., & McGuire, M. (2010). Leading public sector networks: An empirical examination of integrative leadership behaviours. The Leadership Quarterly, 21(2), 264–277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Slee, P. T., Lawson, M. J., Russell, A., Askell-Williams, H., Dix, K. L., Owens, L., et al. (2009). KidsMatter evaluation final report. Adelaide, Australia: Flinders University.Google Scholar
  61. Smith, J. D., Schneider, B. H., Smith, P. K., & Ananiadou, K. (2004). The effectiveness of whole-school antibullying programs: A synthesis of evaluation research. School Psychology Review, 33(4), 547–560.Google Scholar
  62. Stith, S., Pruitt, I., Dees, J., Fronce, M., Green, N., Som, A., et al. (2006). Implementing community-based prevention programming: A review of the literature. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 27(6), 599–617.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  63. Victorian Health Promotion Foundation. (2016) The partnership analysis tool: A resource for establishing, developing and maintaining partnerships for health promotion. Resource document. Retrieved March 18, 2018, from,
  64. Wandersman, A., Duffy, J., Flaspohler, P., Noonan, R., Lubell, K., Stillman, L., … Saul, J. (2008). Bridging the gap between prevention research and practice: The interactive systems framework for dissemination and implementation. American Journal of Community Psychology, 41(3–4), 171–181. Scholar
  65. Wandersman, A., Imm, P., Chinman, M., & Kaftarian, S. (2000). Getting to outcomes: A results-based approach to accountability. Evaluation and Program Planning, 23(3), 389–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Weiss, E. S., Miller Anderson, R., & Lasker, R. D. (2002). Making the most of collaboration: Exploring the relationship between partnership synergy and partnership functioning. Health Education and Behavior, 29(6), 683–698.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  67. Williams, P. (2002). The competent boundary spanner. Public Administration, 80(1), 103–124.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Wolff, T. (2001). Community coalition building-contemporary practice and research: Introduction. American Journal of Community Psychology, 29(2), 165–191.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  69. World Health Organization. (1986). The Ottawa charter for health promotion. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from,
  70. World Health Organization. (2010). ExpandNet: Nine steps for developing a scaling-up strategy. Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.Google Scholar
  71. World Health Organization. (2013a). The Helsinki statement on health in all policies (pp. i17–i18). Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from,
  72. World Health Organization. (2013b). Health 2020: A European policy framework supporting action across government and society for health and well-being. Copenhagen, Denmark: World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe.Google Scholar
  73. World Health Organization. (2014). Health in all policies: Framework for country action. Geneva: World Health Organization. Retrieved from,

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.WHO Collaborating Centre for Health Promotion ResearchNational University of Ireland GalwayGalwayIreland

Personalised recommendations