Mental Health Defined
Mental health, as defined by the Public Health Agency of Canada, is an individual’s capacity to feel, think, and act in ways to achieve a better quality of life while respecting the personal, social, and cultural boundaries. Impairment of any of these is a risk factor for mental disorders, which are components of mental health. Mental disorders are defined as the health conditions that affect and alters cognitive functioning, emotional responses, and behavior associated with distress and/or impaired functioning. The ICD-11 is the global standard used to diagnose, treat, research, and report various mental disorders. In the United States, the DSM-5 is used as the classification system of mental disorders.
Mental health is associated with a number of lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, stress, drug abuse, social connections and interactions. Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners, or family physicians can help manage mental illness with treatments such as therapy, counseling or medication.
Benefits of a Balanced Lifestyle
Good mental health is both a state of mind and a balanced lifestyle. Part of it is developing a rational, positive, and strong mindset. Having sources of enjoyment and a manageable level of stress facilitates and leads to good mental health. It’s important to have a lifestyle that helps maintain this state of mind. Exercise, nutrition, sleep, spirituality, and in some cases being able to talk to a professional that understands your experiences can be the key to a healthy, and good life. It is so important to be able to reach for help when some experiences or thoughts get in your way. A different perspective can help you put certain things in their rightful place. A healthy mind will put you on the path to a healthy body or the other way around.