What does mental health mean? We can define it by the emotional and spiritual resilience which helps us cope with pain and adversities during the course of our lives. It doesn’t mean that we become immune to finding things difficult or feeling bad, however our self-belief and worth remains intact. Just like physical health, we all have mental health. Difficult life events such as a divorce or bereavement can adversely affect our mental health. If the dip in mental health becomes prolonged, this is where it can be viewed as mental ill health, particularly if a condition becomes a diagnosis.
Everyone also has wellbeing. Where it is positive, we have a sense of purpose, we feel able to achieve things in life that are important to us and contribute to society. It doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t experience pain or discomfort. Supportive relationships and connections can enhance our wellbeing. We can do more of what brings our joy. This helps us with our confidence and engagement with the world, which also improves our wellbeing.
We can move through different phases of struggling or flourishing in our mental health, which can also vary in severity when viewed on a continuum. Our mental health and wellbeing concerns everyone, not just for those experiencing mental health challenges. Even for people who do live with a diagnosis, it is very possible to achieve positive levels of wellbeing. With World Mental Health Day is coming up, please consider the issue of your mental health – and others around you too.