Understanding mental health
Mental well-being is both feeling and functioning well. The World Health Organization1 describes mental well-being as a state in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.
Through recognizing, accessing and using appropriate forms of care and treatment respective to mental health status optimal mental well-being is achievable for all, whether or not they have a mental illness.
The key to mental well-being is not the avoidance of stress, negative feelings and problems, but rather being equipped to cope with life stressors and situations as they arise.
People’s mental health and wellbeing can be challenged for example by short-term reactions to difficult situations such as school pressures, work related stress, relationship conflicts or grieving the loss of a loved one.
Almost every person will experience a few of these conditions in their lifetime, but everyone processes them in different ways and for different lengths of time. Often, by dealing with everyday stress, people find strategies that work for them and can be used in other similar situations in the future.