What is Mental Health?

Mental health incorporates emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we cope with stress, communicate our emotions and react to different situations. It is fluid and can change as life circumstances change.  Good mental health enables us to feel a sense of confidence and well-being, maintain health relationships and cope with life’s uncertainties.

Mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

The wide spectrum of mental illness includes post-partum depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, bipolar disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. A mental health challenge can be acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term).

Common risk factors that can lead to mental health challenges, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

  • undergoing stressful life situations such as the death of a loved one, divorce or loss of a job;
  • experiencing trauma such as military combat or being assaulted;
  • having a chronic medical condition, such as cancer; and
  • being abused or neglected as a child.

(Information referenced from Each Mind Matters)

For more information on mental health and mental illness, please check out the videos below!

A Crash Course on Mental Health

Emotion, Stress and Health: Crash Course Psychology #26

Psychological Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #28

OCD & Anxiety Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #29

Depressive and Bipolar Disorders: Crash Course Psychology #30

Trauma & Addiction: Crash Course Psychology #31