What is Mental Health?
Mental health is a state of mental well-being of a person which helps him or her to cope with the stresses of life, realize self-abilities, effectively learn and perform well, and contribute to the community. It is an essential health and well-being component that impacts our self and collective decision-making abilities, builds relationships, and transforms the world.
Mental health is considered a basic human right. It is crucial for personal, socio-economic, and community development. Mental health holds much more prominence than just the absence of mental disorders.
Mental health is quite complex, and it is experienced differently by different people, with varying levels of stress ad difficulty, and varying potential for social and clinical outcomes.
Mental health conditions come with psycho-social disabilities and mental disorders, including other mental states such as significant distress, impaired functioning, or self-harm risk. People with bad mental health are more prone to experience lower mental well-being levels, but it is not always the case.
There are various factors that affect our mental health, such as social and structural determinants, and numerous individuals.
Being exposed to unfavorable circumstances such as economic, social, geopolitical, and environmental may also impact mental health, it includes violence, poverty, inequality, and environmental deprivation.
Such risks can be manifested at all stages of life, but those are more detrimental and occur at developmentally sensitive periods, more specifically childhood. For instance, harsh parenting including physical punishment can impact a child’s health. Bullying poses a great risk to impact mental health negatively.
Protective factors also occur throughout our lives and strengthen our resilience. It combines individual social and emotional skills and attributes, including positive social interactions, decent work, quality education, safe neighborhoods, and community cohesion.
Both mental health risks and protective factors also exist in society at varying scales. Local threats increase the risk for individuals, communities, and families. Global threats pose risks to impact the whole population, including economic downturns disease outbreaks, increasing climate crisis, forced displacement, and other humanitarian emergencies.
Each individual risk and protective factor own its limited predictive strength. Many people may not develop a mental health condition, despite being exposed to the risk factor. While people with no identified risk factor may experience mental health conditions. The interacting mental health determinants help in improving the undermine mental health.
Mental Health Promotion and Prevention
Mental health promotion and prevention interventions involve identifying social, individual, and structural determinants of mental health, and their intervention to reduce the risks, build resilience, and develop supportive environments for mental health.
Reshaping mental health determinants may often require taking action beyond the health sector, such as promotion and prevention programs focusing on education, justice, labor, environment, transport, housing, and welfare sectors.