Mental health is all about the ways that you think, feel and react to everyday life. It is a key factor in relationships, emotional well-being and your ability to cope with life’s challenges. Keeping your mental health in good shape is just as important as taking care of your physical health. If you are experiencing changes in your thoughts, emotions or behaviour that are making it difficult to cope, it may be time to see a mental health professional.
A person’s mental health can be affected by many things such as drugs, alcohol, genetics, trauma, stressors, environmental factors and other illnesses such as diabetes or cancer. It is also influenced by the amount of social support, rest, exercise and good nutrition. Having good relationships and meaningful paid or volunteer activities are also important.
If a problem with mood or thinking is not managed or treated, it can cause difficulties at home, in work and at school. People can become depressed, anxious or even psychotic – but it is possible to recover with help and treatment.
Emotional or psychiatric disorders affect 19% of adults, 46% of adolescents and 13% of children each year and they are the leading causes of disability worldwide. They lead to higher medical expenses, less educational achievement and lower employment opportunities. Untreated mental illness can also contribute to substance abuse, unhealthy eating habits, poor hygiene and even suicide.
While it can be hard to recognize when a problem is serious enough to seek help, some warning signs of mental health issues include persistent sadness or difficulty functioning, loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed, trouble sleeping and feeling hopeless or worthless. Getting an accurate diagnosis, which may include a combination of medication and psychotherapy with a licensed therapist, can make a huge difference in managing symptoms.
It is estimated that over 23 million people around the world have some form of psychoses (such as schizophrenia) which are characterized by distortions in thinking, perception, emotions and sense of self. These disorders often begin in late adolescence or early adulthood and can interfere with normal daily functioning, relationships and work.
Research and evidence is needed to improve prevention, intervention and rehabilitation to ensure that all people who are living with a mental health condition can access the treatment they need. The Journal of Mental Health (JMH) is a global, peer-reviewed scientific journal that provides rapid publication of high-quality papers on the prevention and intervention of emotional and psychiatric problems and their impact on the individual, family, society and economy. JMH offers a fast, thorough and transparent peer-review process, professional copyediting and production of PDF and XHTML proofs. It is available in all major academic and health libraries worldwide. It is indexed in PubMed, PMC, SCIE (Science Citation Index Expanded), Scopus and EMBASE. It is published by SAGE Publishing in association with the Institute of Health Informatics, University of Oxford. It is available to subscription customers in over 190 countries and territories.