What is mental health? Why it is a must to talk about it in today’s scenario?

What is mental health? Why it is a must to talk about it in today’s scenario?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health is “a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”

It’s out loud that mental health is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue in today’s social landscape.

According to the National Survey of Health and Wellbeing of Adults:

  • 1 in 5 of the Australians population had experienced a common mental disorder in the previous 12 months (about 3.9 million people based on the estimated 2017 population).
  • It doesn’t just end there, even children are affected by mental health disorders.
  • According to national household survey, the Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing, was conducted for the second time in 2013–14 (also referred to as the ‘Young Minds Matter’ survey).
  • Almost 1 in 7 (13.9%) of children and adolescents aged 4–17 years were assessed as having mental health disorders in the previous 12 months, which is equivalent to about 591,000 (based on the estimated 2017 population) children and adolescents.

Fortunately, the rise in numbers of people affected by mental disorders has brought increased awareness and de-stigmatisation of mental health issues. With increase awareness unfortunately, the word ‘Mental Health’ in itself is highly misunderstood in the society we live in. Mental health is often used as a substitute for mental health conditions – such as depression, anxiety conditions, schizophrenia, and others.

Mental health is more about wellness rather than illness.

Everyone has mental health, just like everyone has health. As the World Health Organization famously says, “There is no health without mental health.” In the course of a lifetime, not all people will experience a mental illness, but everyone will struggle or have a challenge with their mental well-being just like we all have challenges with our physical well-being from time to time.

When we talk about mental health, we’re talking about our mental well-being: it is about being cognitively, emotionally and socially healthy – the way we think, feel and develop relationships – and not merely the absence of a mental health condition.

A mental illness is an illness that affects the way people think, feel, behave, or interact with others. There are many different mental illnesses, and they have different symptoms that impact peoples’ lives in different ways.

What are the benefits of staying well?

Research shows that benefits of mental health are:

  • Increased learning, creativity and productivity.
  • More positive social relationships, social behaviour and
  • Improved physical health and life expectancy.

In contrast, mental health conditions can cause distress, impact on day-to-day functioning and relationships, and are associated with poor physical health and premature death from suicide.

At the end of the day, mental health is complex to understand but together we can make it simple.

The fact that someone is not experiencing a mental health illness condition doesn’t necessarily mean they are experiencing good mental health. Likewise, it’s possible to be diagnosed with a mental health condition while feeling well in many aspects of life.

At Positive Perceptions Psychology our mission is that everyone achieves their best possible mental health.

Positive Perception primary focus is on the needs of people affected by all kinds of mental health disorders including people with disabilities. We also believe that a better understanding and awareness of mental health and how to achieve it will help everyone in Australia to reach their full potential. This will also contribute to the prevention of mental health conditions, and support people who have experienced these conditions to get well and lead full and contributing lives.

Note: If you feel that you may be affected by depression or anxiety remember they are treatable conditions and effective treatments are available. The earlier you seek support, the better.