“Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
–World Health Organization (WHO)
DEFINING MENTAL HEALTH
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines Mental Health as ” A state of well-being which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.” Mental Health includes many aspects, like psychological, social, emotional well-being etc. and plays a vital role in determining how a person thinks, feels and acts. Mental health helps in determining the stress level of a person and thus can help in reducing it. It helps to relate people with others and make choices. It is important at every stage of life and affects the life in numerous ways.
If a person had mental health problems, then its thinking, mood, behavior, actions etc. will be affected to a great extent and can cause problem in society. Some of the factors that contribute to mental health are :
- Biological Factors: Genes or brain chemistry
- Life Experiences: Trauma or abuse
- Family history of mental health problems
UNDERSTANDING THE RELEVANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH
Mental health is an essential and vital component of health and mental health is similar to the condition, where there is no mental disorder or disabilities. A person with sound mental health is able to realize his or her duty and responsibilities and is capable to cope with the stresses of life which are normal and can work productively, With this the person can efficiently contribute to his or her community.
Mental Health is fundamental ability of an person to think, respond, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life. On this basis, we can say that, it is very necessary to preserve, conserve and protect a persona mental health because it can affect other individuals around them, the society, their community and the world itself.
FACTORS DETERMINING MENTAL HEALTH
Numerous factors affect a persons mental health and they can be social, biological and psychological. For example, violence and social pressures can mentally disturb a person.
Poor mental health can affect the way a person responds to others and to the society. It can lead to social change, stressed work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, prejudice, unhealthy lifestyle etc. There are specific factors which can affect a persons mental health and can make people vulnerable to mental health problems and disorders.
PROMOTING MENTAL HEALTH
Different ways to promote mental health:
- Socio economic empowerment of women for increasing their access to education, schemes etc.
- Early Childhood interventions for providing proper infrastructures which will be child sensitive.
- Programs targeting vulnerable people of the society; like migrants, minorities etc.
- Mental health promotional educational centers and mental health interventions at work.
- Social support for elderly people.
- Poverty reduction and social protection to the vulnerable group.
- Promotion of rights, opportunities and care to everyone having mental disorders.
- Violence prevention and community development programs.