Why Mental Health Matters
Mental health is an emotional, psychological and social well-being that affects cognition, perception, behavior, and how people handle stress. It also determines an individual’s resilience to adversity and their ability to enjoy life.
Mental disorders are too often ignored, underdiagnosed, misdiagnosed, stigmatized and dismissed by our society. We need to change this.
1. It’s a sign of strength
Mental health is your ability to cope with life’s challenges in a healthy way. It influences your thinking, perception and behavior, and how well you handle stress, relationships and decision-making.
People with strong mental health know that it takes more strength to express emotions than to suppress them. It also takes incredible mental strength to get help when you need it and keep up with your treatment plan.
But you don’t have to give up on your goals or let negative thoughts run your life. Working with a mental health professional or coach can teach you how to challenge those thought patterns, reframe setbacks and help you stay motivated.
Often, mental illness is accompanied by shame and stigma that prevents people from reaching out for support. This may be especially true for men, who may fear that they are not a ‘man’ enough to seek help or talk about their emotions.
2. It’s a sign of courage
Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning and resilience. It also determines how an individual handles stress, interpersonal relationships and decision-making.
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines mental health as “the ability to experience emotional, psychological and social well-being and contribute to community or society”. It can be influenced by physical health too.
A strong mental health combines the ability to think and feel with self-compassion. It also helps you recognize irrational thoughts and replace them with realistic inner dialogue.
It’s no surprise that people with great mental health are able to handle the challenges and setbacks that life throws at them, but they also have the courage to seek help when it’s needed. This includes asking for help from friends or family, enlisting the assistance of professionals and attending support groups. This might seem like a small gesture to others, but it’s an important one that can have a positive impact on a person’s quality of life and their ability to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle.
3. It’s a sign of hope
Mental health is a term that encompasses emotional, psychological and social well-being. It determines how we think, feel and behave. It also affects our relationships and decisions.
Mental illness is a serious health condition, just like heart disease or diabetes, and it is nothing to be ashamed of. Fortunately, it is treatable and can lead to a better quality of life.
The best way to support someone who is struggling with a mental health issue is to listen nonjudgmentally and offer support when needed. You can do this by helping them to get the treatment and support they need, offering resources and information and making sure they feel heard.
It’s important to remember that it can take time for a person with mental health issues to heal and recover. It’s crucial to help people start early and continue to stick to a treatment plan. This will reduce the negative effects of untreated mental health conditions, such as relapse, substance use, unemployment, homelessness and suicide.
4. It’s a sign of resilience
In the face of trauma, stress or adversity, people who are resilient can keep going. They can learn to see the negative in a different light, find enjoyment in life and make better choices.
Resilience is also a sign that you have a positive mindset. Resilience involves taking a realistic look at the situation, not blaming yourself or brooding about what cannot be changed.
Rather than being stoic and figuring it out on your own, resilience requires learning to ask for help and working toward goals with a sense of accomplishment. These skills build confidence and help you develop your mental health.
Many mental health professionals offer resilience training. This is often rooted in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or mindfulness-based techniques. Practicing these skills can boost your resilience a small amount, but it’s a good idea to seek out a trained therapist for guidance.