This paper conceptualizes mental health narratives as coherent aggregates of meanings that act as guideposts for negotiating mental health. Central to the construct are two ontogenic concerns whose prior treatment in the literature has not sufficiently recognized the symbiotic relationship between them or their combined influence on mental health—meaning-making and mental health literacy. The literatures pertaining to these concerns have remained uncoupled primarily due to the prevailing illness-oriented definition of mental health literacy which is problematically narrow, both in terms of its lineal conformity to the orthodox view of mental illness and its complete lack of accounting for the literacies employed in promotion of mental health. Mental health literacy is redefined as the self-generated and acquired knowledge with which people negotiate their mental health.
|Keywords:||Mental Health Literacy, Meaning-making, Mental Health Narrative|
PhD Student, Interdisciplinary School of Rural and Northern Health, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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