There is no Health without Mental Health

Mental health is an integral and essential component of health. The WHO constitution states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”[WHO 1946]. There is no health without mental health. An important piece of this definition is that mental health is more than just the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

It is a ‘state of well-being in which an individual realizes his or her own abilities, and can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and is able to make a contribution to his or her community’ [WHO,2018].

Mental health is fundamental to good health, wellbeing and quality of life. It is a resource for everyday life which enables us to manage our lives successfully and contributes to the functioning of individuals, families, communities and society [WHO, 2018].

Mental health is fundamental to our collective and individual ability as humans to think, emote, interact with each other, earn a living and enjoy life [WHO, 2018]. Our social, psychological, and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person. Poor mental health is seen and also associated with rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health and human rights violations [WHO, 2018]

Developed by the New Economics Foundation (NEF), the five ways to wellbeing are simple actions you can do in your everyday life to feel good and function well.

Five Top Actions you can start today?

[Mental Health Ireland, 2018]

Connect

Evidence show that good relationships with family, friends, colleagues and the wider community are important for mental wellbeing.
Many of us would like to spend more time with the people who are most important to us but sometimes life just gets in the way of that. We must make time to connect with the people that matter to us. By nurturing these relationships we feel happier and more secure, giving a better sense of purpose.

Being active

Is great for your physical and mental wellbeing. Evidence proves there is a link between being physically active and good mental wellbeing. Mental wellbeing means being feeling good about yourself and about the world around you and having the ability to get on with life in the way you want. Being active doesn’t mean you need to train for a marathon. You need to find physical activity that you enjoy and can fit into your daily/ weekly routine. This may be a daily walk to the shops instead of taking the car, a weekly gardening session, some yoga, swimming or a weekend walk.

Taking Notice

Taking Notice is also called Mindfulness. It is easy to incorporate mindfulness into your life and can be a very powerful tool if learnt and practiced daily.
Mental wellbeing means being feeling good about life and yourself and having the ability to get on with life in the way you want. Many think about wellbeing in terms of what you have; your income, car, house or job. Evidence shows that what we do and the way we think have the biggest impact on wellbeing.

Learning New Skills

Learning new skills is both useful and it can also positively affect our mental wellbeing. Learning means different things to everyone. To some it will be a new qualification and to others it will be learning a new recipe in the kitchen. Evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout life can help improve and maintain our mental wellbeing. Mental Wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and the world around you and being able to get on with your life the way you choose. Learning new ‘things’ can boost your self-confidence, self-esteem, build a sense of purpose and help us connect with others.

Give

Most agree that giving to others is a good idea however giving to others has a knock on effect on us by improving the givers mental wellbeing. Helping and supporting others and working with others towards a shared goal is good for our mental wellbeing. A 2003 study in 373 older adults found that some aspect of wellbeing were higher in those who did volunteer projects compared with those who did not. From small acts of kindness to volunteering, giving can give you a sense of purpose, community and connectedness. Sometimes we think of our wellbeing in terms of what we have; our income, car, home or job. Evidence shows that what we do and the way we think has the biggest impact on mental wellbeing. Positive mental wellbeing means feeling good about yourself and the world around you and being able to get on with your life.

Leave a Comment