As part of our Mental Health Awareness campaign, we have written quite a few articles on the topic of Mental Health. We have made endless citations to the notion, and offered our best possible advice on how to maintain it.
Yet I ask myself, have we once stopped to give a clear understanding of what Mental Health is and what it looks like? Do we know what we mean when we say Mental Health? I would say it is about time we pay some much needed attention to the cause.
Contrary to popular belief, there is no perfect model of Mental Health. Given, health care practitioners employ certain diagnostic models such as the DSM 5 or the ICD 10 to make clinical evaluations. But these models are there to give practitioners an assured universal language and a uniform code according to which to practice. These models are in place to assist health care professionals make universal evaluations regarding mental health and make concise diagnostic assessments. But I believe it is important to point out here that pathological evaluations should always be considered as the exception and not the norm. I firmly believe that we have been lead to misunderstand mental health as either the presence of pathology or not. This is not true.
Mental Health, or rather the lack thereof, does not necessarily mean the presence of psychological pathology. Though many a great definition and view of mental health exists, I am of the opinion that mental health means holistic and overall wellbeing in the individual’s state of mind. Once again, perhaps a broad understanding. But the point to be made here is that mental health does not equate to the presence of pathology or not. The World Health Organization defines mental health as a “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment”. Mental health includes a very broad spectrum of functioning, and indeed, no perfect model of mental health exists. But what we, as mental health practitioners aim for when we say mental health, is to see that every individual achieves a state of mind and wellness in which he or she functions as optimally as possible and enjoys reaching a level of experienced self-actualization. It really is as simple, and as complicated, as that.
I believe in mental health. Do you?
Why EQ Training?
A comprehensive meta-analysis of the relationship between Emotional Intelligence and health was conducted by Martins, Ramalho & Morin in 2010 where they showed that emotional intelligence is a plausible predictor of health. Ciarrochi, Deane & Anderson (2002) proved emotional intelligence as a distinct construct that is important in understanding the link between stress and mental health.
Contact Capacity Trust for Emotional Intelligence training.