Mental Health – The Foundation For Emotions, Thinking, Communication, Resilience and Hope

mental health

Mental health is the foundation for emotions, thinking, communication, learning, resilience and hope. It also determines how a person handles stress and interpersonal relationships, as well as how he or she contributes to society.

The WHO defines mental health as “a state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, is able to cope with the normal stresses of life, is able to work productively and fruitfully, and is able to contribute to his or her community.”

There are many factors that can impact a person’s physical and mental health, including genetics, environment, lifestyle, traumatic life events, biochemical processes and circuits in the brain and basic brain structure. People born into a family with a history of mental health problems are more likely to develop them themselves, as are those raised in homes with stressful or traumatic experiences.

It is estimated that about 1 in 5 adults will experience a mental health disorder at some point during their lives. It is important to understand that the vast majority of individuals with a mental illness do not require hospitalization and are able to live full, productive lives.

Some people believe that mental health disorders are caused by a difference in brain chemistry. However, there is no strong evidence to support this idea.

Others suggest that mental health problems are caused by a genetic predisposition to develop them. This may be true for some families, but it’s not universal.

A person can have more than one mental health condition at a time and be able to improve with treatment. Psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and primary care physicians often treat mental health disorders using psychological therapies such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.

These treatments can help individuals learn to better manage their symptoms and change thought patterns that may be causing them distress. Some people also use psychiatric medications to control their symptoms and improve their quality of life.

If a person with a mental health disorder does not receive timely and effective treatment, they can suffer a serious decline in their health. This decline can lead to a range of negative consequences, such as self-harm and suicide.

The WHO has identified mental disorders and psychoactive substance-related disorders as the top contributors to morbidity, disability, and premature mortality worldwide. These disorders have a high cost on societies, particularly in low and middle-income countries where health care resources are limited.

Inequitable distribution of resources, as well as social stigma and discrimination, compound the burden. WHO has worked with governments to strengthen mental health care so that the full spectrum of mental health needs is met through a community-based network of accessible, affordable and quality services and supports.

It is essential that governments, the private sector and civil society respond to these issues. They should provide adequate funding for mental health and psychoactive substance-related disorders, promote the rights of people with lived experience and ensure a multisectoral and integrated approach to the issue.