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Some mental health issues and illnesses can be prevented by reducing the risk factors and enhancing the protective factors that are known to impact on the mental health of individuals and communities.

While not all mental health issues or illnesses are preventable, many actions can be can be taken to reduce the likelihood that people at risk will go on to develop mental illness and that if they do, their quality of life will be maintained.

Prevention interventions work by focusing on reducing risk factors and enhancing protective factors associated with mental ill‐health.

Risk factors increase the likelihood that a mental health problem or mental illness will develop (such as long‐term stressors), while protective factors decrease the likelihood (such as good social support).