Mental wellbeing: strengthening our response

Data and numbers

  • Mental wellbeing is more than the absence of mental disorders.
  • Mental health is an essential part of health; So much so that without mental health there is no health.
  • Mental health is determined by various socio-economic, biological and environmental factors.
  • There are effective and cost-effective multisectoral strategies and interventions to promote, protect and restore mental health.

Mental health is an integral and essential part of health. The WHO constitution states: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being. Not just the absence of disease”. An important consequence of this definition is that it considers mental health more than the absence of mental disorders or disabilities.

Mental health is a state of well-being in which the person realizes their abilities and can manage the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their community. In this positive sense, mental health is the foundation of individual well-being and effective community functioning.

Mental curve and well-being are critical to our collective and individual ability to think, express feelings, interact with others, earn a living, and enjoy life. On this basis, the promotion, protection, and restoration of Mental wellbeing can be seen as an important concern of individuals, communities, and societies around the world.

Determinants of mental health

Individual mental health is determined by social, psychological, and biological molteplici fattori. In addition, persistent socio-economic pressures on costs are well perceived by the mental health of individuals and the community. The proof is evident in the legacy of the indicator of Povertà and in particular in the Basso livello di istruzione.

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The cattiva salute mental is still associated with rapid social change, stressful conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, stili of vita malsani, rischi di violenza and cattive condizioni di salute physical e violazioni dei di diritti umani.

It is very personal and specific to the psychological factor that makes a person prone to mental disorders. Infine, i disrupti mentali hanno also cause biological, dipendenti, ad esempio, da fattori generici or squilibri biochimici cerebrali.

Promotion and protection of mental health

Mental health promotion consists of actions that create environments and living conditions that are conducive to mental wellbeing and enable people to adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles. Among them are a series of actions to increase the chances that more people have better mental health.

An environment of respect and protection of basic civil, political, socio-economic, and cultural rights is fundamental for the promotion of mental health. Without the security and freedom that these rights provide, it is very difficult to maintain a good level of mental health.

National mental curve health policies should not only address mental disorders but should recognize and address broader issues that promote Mental wellbeing such as incorporating mental health promotion into the policies and programs of the governmental and non-governmental sectors. In addition to the health sector, the participation of the education, labor, justice, transport, environment, housing, or social assistance sectors is essential.

Mental health promotion relies heavily on intersectoral strategies. Other specific ways to promote mental health include:

  • interventions in early childhood (for example, creating a stable environment that meets the child’s health and nutritional needs, protects the child from threats, and provides early learning opportunities and interactions that are sensitive, emotionally supportive, and stimulate their development);
  • support for children (eg capacity building programs and child and youth development programs);
  • the socio-economic emancipation of women (for example, improving access to education and granting microcredits):
  • social support for geriatric populations (for example, initiatives to make friends and community and day centers);
  • programs targeting vulnerable groups, and in particular minorities, indigenous peoples, migrants and people affected by conflict and disasters (eg psychosocial interventions after disasters);
  • mental health promotion activities at school (eg ecological change support programs at school and child-friendly schools);
  • mental health interventions at work (eg stress prevention programs);
  • housing policies (for example, home improvement);
  • violence prevention programs (for example, reducing the availability of alcohol and access to weapons);
  • community development programs (for example, citizen collaboration and integrated rural development initiatives);
  • poverty reduction and social protection for the poor;
  • anti-discrimination legislation and campaigns;
  • promoting the rights, opportunities and care of people with mental disorders.
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Care and treatment of mental health disorders

In the context of national efforts to develop and implement mental health policies, it is essential not only to protect and promote the mental well-being of citizens but also to meet the needs of people with mental illness.

In the last decade, knowledge about what to do with the growing burden of disease from mental disorders has improved significantly. There is growing evidence to demonstrate the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of critical interventions for the treatment of priority mental disorders in countries with different levels of economic development. Inexpensive, feasible, and affordable interventions include:

  •  Treatment of epilepsy with antiepileptic drugs;
  • Treatment of depression with psychotherapy and, in moderate and severe cases, with antidepressants (generic);
  • Treatment of psychosis with antipsychotics of advanced age and psychosocial care for the patient;
  •  Levy taxes on alcoholic beverages and restrict their availability and marketing.

There are also several effective measures for suicide prevention, prevention and treatment of mental disorders in children, prevention and treatment of dementia, and treatment of substance use disorders. The Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) has developed evidence-based guidelines for non-professionals to better identify and manage a variety of priority mental disorders.

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