What is mental health?

Your mental health refers to your emotional, psychological, and social
well-being. We all have mental health, just like we all have physical health.

Your mental health needs to be looked after, just like you look after your physical health.

Mental health is not a mental health condition. A mental health condition is
a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional
regulation, or behaviour. Read more about different mental health conditions here.

It is diagnosed by a mental health care professional, like a clinical psychologist, clinical social worker, psychiatric nurse or psychiatrist. Mental health conditions include depression, bipolar, anxiety, and schizophrenia.

There is nothing shameful about having a mental health condition, just like there is nothing shameful about having high blood-pressure, diabetes or cancer.

Below are tips on maintaining and achieving good mental wellbeing:

Having confidence in yourself

Having positive self-esteem

Feeling and expressing a range of emotions

Building and maintaining good relationships

Feeling engaged with the world around you

Living and working productively

Coping with the stresses of daily life

Adapting and managing in times of change and uncertainty

According to the WHO (2018), poor mental health can be associated with rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, and physical ill-health and human rights violations. There are specific psychological and personality factors that make people vulnerable to mental health problems, such as unemployment, social isolation or discrimination, physical health problems, childhood abuse trauma, violence or neglect, homelessness, housing problems, social disadvantage, poverty or debt and trauma as a result of military experiences, being involved in a serious accident or violent crime.

If you have a mental health problem, taking steps to look after your mental health can help you improve your wellbeing:

Tell people what helps – treatments / types of support / triggers

Spot your early warning signs / triggers

Keep a mood diary – track your moods

Build self-esteem – feel more confident and able to challenge adversity

Exercise

Eat well (healthy)

Avoid drugs and alcohol

Get enough sleep

For more information
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