Mental health includes our psychological, emotional and social wellbeing. It is about how we feel and think as we go about our daily lives. Mental health determines the choices we make, how we handle stress and how we relate to others.
Having good mental health is brought about through self-esteem and confidence and a sense of self. It’s important to have good mental health at every stage of life, from childhood, through to adolescence, moving forward into adulthood.
The World Health Organisation says, “Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities and potential.” When we come to realise our own abilities, we’re able to cope better with the normal stresses of life, will start and continue to make positive contributions to our lives and will work productively.
According to estimates, only about 17% of US adults are considered to have optimal mental health. Mental illness contributes to problems with behaviour, thinking and moods. Mental illness may be genetic, but life experiences can also affect mental health.
A family history of stress and abuse, both physical and emotional can contribute to mental health issues. When interactions between the mind, body and environment begin to interfere and undermine our abilities to cope with simple situations, then we know we’re potentially looking at mental illness. Factors that contribute are acute or long-term stress, emotional abuse, drug and alcohol abuse, violence and family breakdowns.
Those with good mental health will automatically cope with stress and will continue to make meaningful contributions to their lives and to other people. They will realise and see their full potential. It is important for us individually to maintain and work at our health.
We cannot assume we will always have good mental health, but by choosing to connect with ourselves and with other people, we will continue to strengthen our own resolve and perhaps at some point even go on to help other people.
For those dealing with mental health issues including depression, it is important to continue to try to develop coping skills, remain in a good solid routine so they’re familiar and comfortable with their daily routine, make sure they’re getting enough sleep. They must also try to remain physically active and talk about how they feel so that others are aware of their struggles.
Source: World Health Organisation