Psychological health is a wide umbrella term that encompasses a range of topics, including emotional and psychological well-being, social relations, cognition, perception, behavior and decision-making. It also involves factors such as life changes, community concerns and political and social justice issues (World Health Organization, 2004).
Mental health is influenced by the individual, family, and community environment and influences how an individual reacts to stress, interpersonal relationships and decision-making. It is therefore an integral part of overall health and wellbeing.
A healthy lifestyle is important to a person’s mental health, as it helps reduce the risk of developing a mental health disorder. Physical activity, a balanced diet, healthy sleep patterns, positive emotions and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle are all key elements of a healthy lifestyle.
The mental health sector can contribute to improving the quality of life for people through promotion and prevention activities, which work by reducing risks, building resilience and supporting the establishment of supportive environments in which individuals, groups or populations can thrive. Interventions can be designed for individual, specific groups or entire populations and can involve education, labour, justice, transport, housing, environment and welfare sectors.
Counseling and medication are two common forms of treatment for people with a mental health concern such as anxiety, depression, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, ADHD and schizophrenia. Psychotherapy is a form of counseling where the therapist works with the patient to help them overcome their symptoms. Psychiatrists, on the other hand, help people with mental health concerns by prescribing antidepressants, benzodiazepines and lithium.
Some people with mental health concerns might also experience some physical symptoms, such as muscle tension, headaches or stomach pain. These can be a sign that the condition is worsening or not getting better.
Research has shown that a person’s overall level of happiness affects their physical health. Studies show that those who are generally happy and optimistic are more likely to have higher levels of energy, a lower risk of heart disease and other medical conditions, and a longer lifespan than those who are generally depressed and sad.
According to the CDC, 1 in 5 adults have at least one serious mental illness. The number of children and adults with mental health concerns is also increasing.
Despite this, many people are still reluctant to seek help for their mental health concerns because of stigma and shame. However, it is important to understand that if you have been experiencing symptoms for a prolonged period of time or feel like you can’t cope with your life, it is never too late to seek professional support.
The connection between mental health and physical health is a complex and important one, but there is a link. A person’s mental health is a major factor in their life span, as untreated mental illnesses can make it harder to live a long and healthy life.
The World Health Organization recommends that governments should prioritize the prevention of mental disorders and provide access to mental health services for all their citizens. They should do this by making sure that mental health is a part of primary care and by investing in effective treatment for those with mental health concerns. The most effective preventative measures are those that involve a combination of behavioral, environmental and structural changes.