Is Mental Health Illness Or Well Being?

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What does your mind conjure up when you see the words 'mental health'? Yes, the phrase does reek with all sorts of connotations doesn't it!

When you think of the phrase Mental Health..... is it about

People who are strange or not normal.
Mental illness is a stigma or label to be avoided or kept quiet about
Referring to issues of incapacity of the mind and behaviour
A term that is a label to describe insanity, madness, weird people
Pathologies like depression, schizophrenia.
Or even the Mental Health department in your State's Health Department?
The World Health Organization defines mental health as "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."

Not the first thing that comes into many people's minds with that phrase is it?

Part of the problem is the actual term 'mental health' - it conjures up images of illness, yet the word health is the opposite of illness - if we have health, we have wellness, not illness.

Formally, it is a term used to describe either a level of cognitive or emotional well-being or an absence of a mental disorder. From perspectives of the discipline of positive psychology or holism mental health may include an individual's ability to enjoy life and procure a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience.

The problem lies in the term itself - it is not accurately descriptive of what it means
So perhaps mental wellbeing or wellness is more to the point when encouraging or doing something positive about your own inner health.

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