Mental health: a state of well-being
Updated August 2014
Mental health is defined as 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.
The positive dimension of mental health is stressed in WHO’s definition of health as contained in its constitution: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
This fact file highlights the important aspects of mental health and disorders. The images include pictures drawn by children who participated in the WHO Global School Contest of Mental Health in 2001.
Being mentally healthy doesn’t just mean that you don’t have a mental health problem.
If you’re in good mental health, you can:
Make the most of your potential
Cope with life
Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends.
Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘well-being’ and it’s just as important as good physical health.
Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.
Everyone is different. You may bounce back from a setback while someone else may feel weighed down by it for a long time.
Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life.
There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.
Further information and support can be obtained from the Mental Health Foundation website
The documents below highlight some of the mental health issues faced by the LGBT community. Supportive research, which demonstrates the psychological impact, stigma, discrimination and rejection has on a LGBT person. These are accompanied by professional information and guidance documents for healthcare providers.
Please click on the document name below: