What is mental health?

The term ‘mental health’ is often used in common phrase by people. It actually deals with attitude towards self and the environment around, connection with reality, and being productive.

The word ‘mental’ means ‘of the mind’. It describes judgments, moods, concentration, orientation and understanding of oneself and the world around him. The word ‘health’ defines the working order of our body and mind. So when we talk about ‘mental health’ we are referring to the working order of our mind.

Public Health Agency of Canada

“Mental health is the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity”

World Health Organization 

“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every 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 her or his community”. Mental health is more than just ‘the absence of disease’, and refers to ‘a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being’ (WHO, 2001).

McKenzie K (personal communication, 2014)

“A mentally healthy community offers people the ability to thrive. It is one in which people feel a sense of connectedness and there are also networks which link people from all walks of life to each other. There is a strong community identity but despite this the community is welcoming of diversity. People participate in their community; organize to combat common threats and offer support and aid for those in need”

Consequently, it can be precisely conceptualized that mentally healthy individual is contented and cooperative at organization and community level. The individual is productive and goal oriented, and has healthy coping ability. Yet a mentally healthy person also does experience changing moods and thought patterns, ranging from the positive to the negative. However, these shifts are temporary and frequently associated with situations, which on resolving lead to the restoration of the preceding productive nature and happy state.

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