Mental health, defined as the World Health Organization’s standard reference for mental health, is “an optimistic mental state in which the person realizes his or her potentials, is capable of coping with the day’s stresses, is able to render a constructive contribution to society and can take part in the community.” It is important for all of us to recognize and accept this definition as a basic fact of life that we all need to survive. It has been proven that those who are mentally healthy lead healthy, productive and happy lives. Below are several of the ways in which those who suffer from mental disorders can improve their lives:
Emotional Well-Being. A major contributor to overall mental health includes emotional well-being. People who are emotionally healthy to live in a balanced state, where neither they nor others around them have negative feelings or attitudes towards them. In addition, they have positive interpersonal relationships, are self-reliant and take responsibility for their own actions. In short, those who are living in a state of positive emotions and interpersonal connections are in a good position to deal with stress and distress.
Positive Interventions. Another important element of mental health is having the capacity to make constructive interventions to improve one’s own life. This is especially true for adolescents. Adolescents often enter the world intent on developing a set of values and behaviors that will guide them throughout their lives. These values and behaviors are developed through their own personal experiences and are usually not set in stone, but can be altered and adapted to suit their purposes.
Family Care Provider. Perhaps the most significant challenge facing families with a mentally ill member is that of finding a suitable and qualified care provider. There are several options available for a family to consider when looking for a care provider for an adolescent with a mental illness. A primary care provider is a type of mental health professional that provides tailored treatment to a patient. These types of care providers work with adolescents on a regular basis. They may not offer treatment for their specific condition.
Social Skills Training. The most common recommendation for improving the quality of life of people with psychiatric disorders is to ensure they acquire the required social skills to deal with peers and gain self-empowerment over their illness. Social skills training, which is sometimes referred to as social skills therapy, develops interpersonal skills such as effective communication, social etiquette, and stress management. It also develops interpersonal skills that will assist a person with any emotional distress, including depression.
Self-Empowerment. Learning how to manage one’s mental health and their environment is crucial to managing mental health and the resulting impairment of their ability to work productively. The process of self-empowerment involves developing a sense of who one is in relation to their illness, and what is a reasonable expectation for themselves based on their normal physical and psychological functions. This also involves building up healthy relationships with others at work, with peers, and with their doctor. Developing effective communication skills is essential as well.
Work Productively. It is also important for an individual to understand the nature of their limitations, as well as the impact of their illness on their work and personal relationships. An individual who understands their limitations, as well as the impact of their illness on their work productively, will be more likely to be able to work effectively, even with limitations.
There are many other areas that contribute to the development of mental health problems, including biological factors, but mental health promotion is an important part of overall mental health. Understanding the biological and psychological components of psychological disorders, while working to alleviate the negative effects, will lead to improved functioning, and, in some cases, the prevention of further episodes of the disorder or its recurrence. The work of mental health promotion encompasses everything from education and therapy to diet and exercise to medications and therapies.