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Healthy Living - Mental Health

Also in Mental Health:

This website provides information on how you can take steps to improve your own or others' mental health and wellbeing.

What is good mental health?

The World Health Organisation (Factsheet No.220) has described good mental health as:

'Not just the absence of mental disorder.  It is a state of wellbeing where the individual realises 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'.

Why is good mental health important?

Good mental health is a foundation of positive health and wellbeing.  As recognised in the Cross Government Mental Health Outcomes Strategy (HMG Feb. 2011) - 'there's no health without mental health'.  The level of good mental health/mental wellbeing, directly influences our quality of life as we experience it through thoughts, feelings and behaviours.

What is mental health improvement?

Mental health improvement includes any positive actions,which increases our level of health and wellbeing.  As part of this, there may be the need to tackle problem areas which are having a negative effect and pull us down into poorer mental health.  Mental health improvement works towards building positive factors (e.g. feeling more in control) and reducing negative ones (e.g. anxiety). Helpful organisations are listed later.

How can mental health be improved?                           

Mental and physical health can't be separated.  Each affects the other.  Mentally, if you're in a 'good mood' (positive thoughts and feelings), you'll probably feel more physically energised.  Should you be feeling mentally 'down' (negative thoughts and feelings), then physical energy levels will likely register as low.  Physically, if you feel ill, then mentally and emotionally, you'll probably be pretty miserable.  In contrast, if you're physically rested after a good night's sleep, you're likely to feel mentally more positive.

Understanding this 'two-way' traffic system allows you to improve your mental health using a variety of practical mental/emotional and physical approaches.

For information on practical methods to reduce and control stress, please visit www.stepsforstress.org.

More information and contacts

Contact the free NHS Grampian healthline on:  08085 202030

Euan McCormack, Mental Health Improvement Advisor
(01224) 558688
e-mail:  euan.mccormack@nhs.net

More useful resources...