Mental Health Vs. Mental Wellbeing
Mental Health vs. mental wellbeing is important to discuss as these terms leave some queries in people’s minds. To learn more, let’s take a closer look at the connection between mental health and mental wellbeing.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health is a concept that describes how an individual thinks, feels, and act as they interact with other people and their surroundings. A person’s mental health can be described as stable or unstable depending on their ability to think rationally, express emotions appropriately, and behave calmly despite changes in circumstances.
What Is Mental Wellbeing?
Mental wellbeing is the concept of “positive mental health” that focuses on a person’s ability to flourish and achieve full potential. Rather than focusing solely on the absence of disease or disorder, it reflects a person’s overall physical, emotional, spiritual, and social wellbeing.
Why Is Mental Health Important?
Research shows that good mental health is crucial to the success of every individual, regardless of age, race, gender, ethnicity, social status, or economic background. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that everyone can take measures to improve their life satisfaction and build resilience for stressful situations.
These include being aware of personal emotions by recognizing them, learning how to cope with stress, exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, and setting achievable goals.
Why Is Mental Wellbeing Important?
When people have high levels of mental wellbeing, they are better equipped to meet life’s challenges. They feel confident about themselves and the world around them, set goals for future achievements, work well with others (including their families), exercise good judgment, show true concern for other people’s feelings, and avoid impulsive or reckless behaviors.
After all, if you feel good about your life and can meet most of your goals, you’ll want to maintain that feeling.
What Is the Connection Between Mental Health and Mental Wellbeing?
Mental health is a significant factor in overall wellbeing because it directly influences how we think, behave, and interact with other people. How we think and behave affects our ability to navigate the world around us, build relationships with other people, and form our sense of self-identity or personal worth.
If you have good mental health, you should have a positive outlook on life that contributes to your overall wellbeing. In this case, you’re likely able to set goals for your future, work toward productively achieving them, and build strong relationships with other people.
On the other hand, if you do not have good mental health, your life might be filled with needless stress because you cannot cope with difficult situations in positive ways. For example, studies link high levels of depression to lower levels of happiness, satisfaction, and overall wellbeing.
The good news is that mental health does not have to be permanent, nor does it have to affect your life forever. With proper diagnosis and treatment, most people can improve their quality of life at any age.
Factors Influencing Mental Health & Wellbeing
● Social Media Usage
On average, young people spend two hours each day on social media. This means that about 28% of their waking time is spent on digital platforms. The effects of so much screen time are not always good for mental health and wellbeing.
For example, one study found that spending too much time on Facebook can lead to negative mental health outcomes among young adults, including depression.
Social media platforms are designed to be addicting by their very nature. They are built upon principles of social comparison in which they provide constant updates on what other people are doing in the physical world. If you’re not able to keep up with others, then your self-esteem can suffer for it.
What’s more, research shows that young people who spend lots of time on social media are more likely to be cyberbullied than those who do not. This type of online harassment can severely affect mental health and wellbeing, including feelings of isolation and lowered self-esteem.
On the other hand, the social element associated with many platforms is beneficial for some people, particularly those who have trouble building social networks in their everyday lives.
In this case, platforms that provide a way to connect with friends and family may help improve these people’s mental health and wellbeing by reducing feelings of loneliness or isolation.
● Community Support
People with better social support tend to have higher levels of mental wellbeing than those without. For example, having an active social life with good friends is associated with better sleep, reduced stress levels, and better overall fitness, contributing to overall wellbeing.
But not all communities offer the same level of support or resources for their citizens. Some communities cannot support the mental health needs of their residents because they lack sufficient funding or staff.
This is particularly true in developing countries where there may not be enough jobs available for those without a college degree, let alone those who need access to mental health services.
Fortunately, one international effort called Mental Health Gap Action Program (mhGAP) has addressed these needs by helping countries increase their mental health resources.
Whether or not a country’s government supports this program, the first step toward improving mental health and wellbeing comes from changing how society views mental illness.
● Mental Health & Wellbeing Around the World
People living in countries with more economic wealth tend to have better mental health than those living in poorer societies.
The relationship between economic status and mental health has not always been clear. Still, recent studies suggest that wealthier societies can provide their citizens with better medical care, education, and employment opportunities than poorer nations.
At the same time, people living in emerging countries also experience higher rates of mental health issues than those who live in wealthier nations.
This is because poverty and unemployment can increase the likelihood of experiencing stressful life events such as losing a job or death from illness. The constant worry about money and resources to support everyday needs comes with serious consequences for mental health.
Similar to how people can become isolated from their friends and family, poverty also comes with implications for how individuals can connect with others by limiting their opportunities for socialization.
Mental health vs mental wellbeing, for example, can be understood as unemployed workers may not have an active social network of close friends or family members who they see regularly. As a result, they may become socially isolated or feel that their mental health symptoms are not taken seriously by others.