What is mental health and wellbeing?

What is mental health?

There is often confusion about the meaning of the terms mental health wellbeing and mental illness. 

Mental health is an important element of the overall health of the individual.  The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) definition of health states that:

“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”

This definition recognises the mental, physical and social dimensions of health. It also recognises that health does not just refer to the absence of disease, but that health is a more positive state which involves wellbeing.

In relation to mental health, the WHO define it as:

“Mental health can be understood as a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her own community”.

What is mental wellbeing?

Mental wellbeing is characterised by feeling well, having fulfilling relationships, as well as having the ability to cope. Mental wellbeing how people think, communicate, learn and grow and strengthens resilience and self-esteem. These are the ingredients for successful involvement in the community, in society, in professional life and in relationships.

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