Promoting and Protecting Psychological Health

As a general umbrella term, psychological health refers to any state of being that is related to an individual’s emotions and mental well-being. Psychological health can be affected by a variety of factors including genetics, environment, lifestyle choices and life changes. Several different types of therapy exist to address issues that may impact psychological health such as drug therapy (pharmacotherapy), psychotherapy and group therapy.

A healthy mental state allows individuals to realize their potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and fruitfully, build satisfying relationships and make a contribution to society. It also includes a balance between rest and activity, self-esteem and positive emotional states.

Psychological wellbeing is a continuum that can be impacted by a variety of factors, some of which are outside our control, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Other factors, such as the workplace environment and personal health, are more within our control. As such, it is important to understand how psychological health can be promoted and protected.

One of the most common threats to psychological health is a lack of support at work. In fact, a study by the Mental Health Commission of Canada found that in any given week, 500,000 Canadians are absent from work due to a mental health issue. To protect and promote psychological health, it is critical that organizations develop policies and procedures to support their employees.

This can be done by creating a supportive culture and providing access to the appropriate resources. However, ensuring the proper implementation of these strategies can be challenging as it requires the buy-in from managers and supervisors, especially at midlevel management.

Additionally, there is a great deal of unmet need for mental health services around the world, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. This is likely due to a combination of factors, such as the lower proportion of health budgets allocated to mental health, and the fact that many countries do not have sufficiently trained personnel to deliver care.

There is a need for further research into a variety of topics to further our understanding of psychological health. This includes research on how a person’s mental health can be improved by their physical environment, such as the presence of nature and social contact, as well as the need to increase access to affordable and quality care in developing countries. A comprehensive approach to psychological health is needed to ensure that all people have the opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life. This starts with having the ability to recognize and access the appropriate services when necessary. This can include non-specialist psychological counselling and digital self-help. It can also involve the promotion of psychological health in the workplace, as is addressed by the National Standard for Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace. This is the first of its kind in the world. The Standard is a voluntary set of guidelines, tools and resources to help organizations of all types promote and protect psychological health.