Mental Health Defined

who mental health definition

Mental health is not an all or nothing concept. It exists on a continuum that can go up and down with life’s twists and turns.

WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes their own abilities, can cope with normal stresses and strains, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their community”. Mental disorders are common and contribute significantly to the global burden of disease.

Definition of Mental Health

A person’s mental health is a combination of emotional well-being, psychological functioning and social connections that influence their ability to adapt to everyday stressors. It is reflected in how they cope with and manage their lives, whether through self-care, interacting with family members or friends or utilising medical treatment. It is also influenced by the ability to engage in work and play, enjoy leisure time and have good relationships.

According to the WHO, peak mental health means being able to deal effectively with life stresses and challenges. It is about achieving a balance between work and leisure activities, and having a sense of achievement and accomplishment in your daily life. It also refers to your ability to interact with others in a positive and productive way and to contribute to your community.

Mental illness can affect people from all walks of life and can be a result of many factors, including genetics, biological processes, environmental stresses and cultural or societal pressures. It can cause a range of symptoms that can impact a person’s cognitive and behavioural function. It can interfere with a person’s ability to interact with others, to make decisions and to work or study. It is important to seek help if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of a mental health condition, such as anxiety or depression. Talk therapy and medicines can be used to treat them.

Although a lot of the underlying causes of mental illnesses are not fully understood, it is known that they can be managed and that most people recover to live a happy and fulfilling life. It is important to recognise the signs and symptoms of a mental health problem, as early intervention can be key to recovery. The majority of mental disorders have a strong biological basis, but there is no doubt that social circumstances can contribute to the onset and severity of a disorder. Specifically, living in an economically disadvantageous country and being from a marginalised or persecuted ethnic group can increase the risk of mental health issues.

Definition of Mental Illness

Mental health is a state of well-being characterized by emotional and behavioral functioning that allows individuals to realize their own strengths, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, and make a positive contribution to society. Mental illness is a medical condition characterized by abnormal emotions, thinking or behavior that affects a person’s ability to function in their daily lives, including the ability to work and maintain relationships.

Mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race or religion and are not related to a person’s intelligence or character. They are the result of a combination of genes and environmental factors such as stress, abuse or traumatic events.

It is possible to recover from a mental health disorder and most people do so. Treatment varies according to the individual needs of each person and may include psychotherapy or other forms of talk therapy, medications, lifestyle changes and social support services. It is important to recognize the warning signs of mental illness and seek professional help when they occur. These include uncharacteristic anger or irritability, despondency or withdrawal from friends and family, and avoiding or canceling regular social activities.

Some disorders have an early onset and others develop over time. The earlier a person begins treatment, the greater the chance of recovery. Serious mental illness is defined as a mental, behavioral or emotional disorder that causes serious functional impairment and substantially interferes with or limits major life activities.