What is mental health?
Mental health refers to our cognitive, behavioral and emotional wellbeing – it is all about how we think, feel, and behave. The term ‘mental health’ is sometimes used to mean an absence of a mental disorder.
Mental health can affect daily life, relationships, and even physical health. Mental health also includes a person’s ability to enjoy life – to attain a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.
According to Medilexicon’s medical dictionary, mental health is:
‘Emotional, behavioral, and social maturity or normality; the absence of a mental or behavioral disorder; a state of psychological well-being in which one has achieved a satisfactory inyegration of one’s instinctual drives acceptable to both one’s social milieu; an appropriate balance of love, work, and leisure pursuits.
According to the WHO (World Health Organisation), mental health is:
‘… a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.’
The WHO stresses that mental health ‘is not just the absence of mental disorder’