Mental health is a crucial dimension of our overall health and an essential resource for optimal living. Mental health influences how we think, feel, perceive, understand and communicate . Without optimal mental health, the person will find it difficult to fulfil their full potential or play a active part in everyday life. Indeed, it has been rightly said that: ” There is no health without Mental Health”.
It is now well appreciated that the absence of emotional and psychological symptoms or absence of a mental disorder does not necessarily indicate sound mental health. The World Health Organization (WHO) in its global definition of health, recognises the importance of mental stability. WHO states: Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” According to WHO, mental health is “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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 his or her community”.
Mental health issues address many areas of life, from enhancing our emotional well-being, to coping with daily life stresses, treating and preventing severe mental illness to the prevention of suicide, frustration, hopelessness and deliberate self harm (DSH). Mental health largely refers to people’s cognitive and emotional well-being. A person who enjoys good mental health, is better placed to deal with the issues of life, be it illness, finance, housing, relationship etc.
Also, it is currently well appreciated that your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, fears, worries play major role in influencing our mental health. People who are predominantly negative in thoughts and attitude, tend to suffer mental and emotional health issues. A very important psychological model in treatment of mental disorder, called Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, aims at helping to encourage and empower the individuals to maintain a positive mental outlook.
There are no universally acceptable definition of what constitutes mental health. No matter how many definitions people try to come up with regarding mental health, its assessment has some subjectivity, as there are no specific blood test or auxiliary investigations to help diagnose mental disorders, compared to physical disorders.
However, the good news is that a number of people with mental disorders do recover completely. Sometimes, they even emerge from the experience feeling stronger and wiser. a few others may get worst or remain vulnerable, and relapse from time to time. A few people may never recover and may go on to receive treatment in the long term.
There are many opinions and theories about aetiological factors for mental disorders, which will not be mentioned here, as it would likely be a separate heading. It’s part of a wider debate about what makes people the way they are, whether their personality is shaped by the life experiences they have gone through, or whether it’s determined by their genes, inherited from their parents or some other unknown factors. However, individual vulnerability is seen as a determinant factor in developing mental ill health.
There is no doubt that the human brain is a complex organ . The human mind is even more complex to appreciate with regard to functionality.
Caring for people with mental health issues can be very rewarding.
In the words of Gabius: ” The care of the human mind is the most noble branch of medicine”