Mental Health – What It Means and What It Entails?

Mental Health – What It Means and What It Entails?

Mental health is defined as the absence of any mental disorder or the level of a one’s psychological well-being. It is that state showing someone satisfactory functioning both behaviorally and emotionally. It can also be described as having that ability to create a balance between efforts and life activities and enjoy life in order to attain psychological resilience.

Based from WHO, mental health entails perceived self-efficacy, intergenerational dependence, self-actualization, subjective well-being, competence and autonomy of one’s emotional and intellectual potential. As further described by WHO, a person’s well-being cover the realization of their own abilities, productive work, contribution to the community and coping with life’s normal stresses. However, such definition may be affected once certain factors, like subjective assessments, competing theories and cultural differences, are considered.

A Scenario Concerning Mental Health

There are cases when an individual may experience struggling with their behavioral health. If that happens, a person is at risk of facing stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, relationship problems, mood disorders, grief learning disabilities and other psychological concerns. During such cases, that person may seek a therapist, counselor, psychologist, physician, life coach or nurse practitioner’s help to aid them in managing their behavioral health. These health care professionals may help the person manage their behavioral health through treatments, including counseling, medication or therapy.

In an attempt to further help people in this situation, the many people took the step to establish global mental health. It is the area of study, research as well as practice that prioritizes the necessity to help in improving mental health. Global mental health is also created to help achieve equity concerning mental health for everyone in the world.

Where Mental Health Started?

The first time mental health was taken into consideration is during the mid of 19th Century. William Sweetzer defined mental hygiene then, which as they defined, was a precursor approach to promote a positive mental health.

Later on, mental hygiene was further defined by Isaac Ray, one of the 13 founders of the American Psychiatric Association. He stated that it is an art that preserves the mind from influences and incidents which may impact or destroy its quality, energy or development. By 1802, a movement for mental hygiene was developed led by Dorothea Dix. She was a school teacher who worked in helping those mental illness sufferers throughout her life. Dorothea also made an effort to help bring light into the life of these people considering the deplorable condition they have to endure. This effort of hers became the start of the “mental hygiene movement’s” development.

The foundation of the movement was an attempt to change how people with mental illness were treated. Back in 19th Century, sufferers of such condition were often neglected and left alone. But this goal for change was achieved for due to her efforts, more patients were sent to mental health facilities to receive their needed care. Sadly, this rise in number resulted to patients receiving less care and attention due to the institutions being understaffed.

By 20th Century, another important figure in the field of mental health development made his contributions. These contributions were in the form of founding the National Committee for Mental Hygiene and opening the first mental health clinic for outpatient in the US. It was only 1945 when the reference to mental hygiene was changed into mental health.


What’s the Importance of Mental Health?

The significance of mental health lies in the fact that around twenty percent of the adolescents and children in the world have mental problems or disorders. In fact, as what WHO’s report showed, it was seen that almost half of the population in the world are suffering from mental illnesses. Most cases impacted the affected people’s self-esteem, ability to function and relationships.

One thing that must be kept in mind concerning this subject is the fact that emotional health has a strong impact on one’s physical and mental health. Consequently, being in such a level of state may make a person vulnerable to developing substance abuse problems.

It is emphasized in this subject that maintaining a good mental health is a must for it is crucial to enjoying a healthy long life. Showcasing this level of well-being is one of the keys to enhancing one’s life.

Dealing with Mental Health Concerns to Achieve and Maintain a Good State of Psychological Well-Being

As defined, mental Health is also referred as the absence of mental disorder. However, the absence of any such disorder can only be realized with prevention. The WHO has already provided a report showing strategies aimed at helping with the prevention of mental disorders. Prevention of such disorders is better realized if it is started at an early age. Doing so may significantly reduce the risk of suffering from any disorder in the future.

  • Prevention – Improving One’s Emotional Health

Even people who are mentally and emotionally healthy may be at risk of developing a mental disorder. For life always have plenty of difficult situations in store for people to encounter and face. It is for reason why tools meant to help cope up with difficult situations are developed for mentally and emotionally healthy people.

But for those who want to improve their emotional health, this can only be achieved if the root cause is dealt with. That’s what prevention is for. Prevention strategies are designed to avoid the risk factors and help enhance a person’s ability to develop self-esteem, achieve well-being, social inclusion and mastery. To improve emotional health, one has to surround themselves with positive relationships and by participating to activities that are relaxing and gives them time.

  • Care Navigation and Therapies

Care navigation is the solution meant to guide both patients and their families concerning the perplexing mental health industries. People who work under care navigation are called as care navigators. They are the ones who are working closely with the patients and their families. Their primary function is to work with them through discussion as well as collaboration. Care Navigators are the one providing information on the best therapies to take based on the case and referrals to facilities and practitioners.

Although care navigators may perform diagnosis as well as treatment planning, their main function is focused providing the mentioned information than therapies. Among the therapies they may provide to patients are:

  • Activity Therapies
  • Expressive Therapies
  • Group Therapy
  • Alternative Therapies
  • Meditation
  • Biofeedback
  • Pastoral Counseling
  • Psychotherapy

Other than these means, eating well and drinking sensibly, talking about one’s feelings, taking a break and doing something enjoying are also helpful in keeping and maintaining a good mental health.