Mental health is a broad term that refers to your feelings, thoughts and behaviours. It is a vital aspect of your overall well-being and it can affect how you cope with stress, your relationships and your decision-making. Taking care of your mental health can help you to live a happier and healthier life.
You can get a diagnosis of a mental illness if you have symptoms such as mood and behaviour problems that interfere with your everyday life. A mental health specialist will be able to help you with your disorder and recommend a treatment plan.
Your mental health is affected by many factors including your genetics, how your brain works, the way you grew up, and your environment. Exposure to stressful events, such as poverty, violence or lack of social support, can also increase the risk of developing a mental health disorder.
Having a close relative with a mental illness can also increase your chances of developing it. Some medical conditions and hormonal changes can also trigger mental illness.
The way your brain works can be affected by your experiences during early childhood and adolescence. For example, some conditions cause your brain to produce less neurotransmitters than normal, which can lead to depression and other emotional disorders.
Environmental factors can also influence how your brain works, such as being exposed to stressors and toxins before birth or consuming alcohol or drugs while in the womb. These conditions may trigger mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.
It is important to remember that mental illness does not mean you are broken or have done something wrong. The condition is treatable and most people recover to a normal life.
Understanding how your mental health is shaped by a variety of factors can help you and your family to make better decisions about what to do to protect your health. It is also important to recognise that a healthy balance of different aspects of your life can improve your mental health, for example by managing stress or maintaining good sleep and nutrition habits.
There are also a number of effective and evidence-based treatments available for a range of conditions, such as anxiety disorders, depression, bipolar disorder and addiction. These include psychosocial interventions, behavioural and occupational therapy, as well as medication if you need it.
The aim is to ensure that individuals have access to appropriate mental health services in a timely manner. This includes supporting a strong, multisectoral response and reducing stigma and discrimination.
WHO works at the national and international levels to ensure that all governments have a strategy to strengthen their response to mental health and wellbeing. This includes a commitment to protecting and promoting human rights, empowering people with lived experience, and ensuring a holistic approach.
Mental health is a complex issue that affects all sectors of society, as well as the poor and vulnerable. It is therefore essential that we all work together to strengthen our collective response to this challenge. This means putting an end to the discrimination that prevents many from receiving care, preventing stigma and discrimination, and creating a culture of respect. It is also important that we understand the importance of community and peer support to the resilience and recovery of people with mental health issues, and to encourage this.