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Mental Health: Mental Health Promotion

What is Mental Health?

Mental Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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.

Mental health is the capacity of each and all of us to feel, think and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotion and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity.

What is Mental Health Promotion?

Mental health promotion takes into account that an individual and community’s health is greatly influenced by many factors beyond health care and individual behaviour, and looks beyond to broader determinants of mental health.

Mental health promotion is not driven by an emphasis on illness, but rather by focusing on the enhancement of well-being. It applies to the whole population in the context of everyday life, and aims at enhancing the well-being and quality of life of the whole population. It is the process of enhancing the capacity of individuals and communities to take control over their lives and improve their mental health.

Mental health Promotion uses strategies that foster supportive environments and individual resilience, while showing respect for culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity.

Determinants of Mental Health

Determinants of mental health are those factors that can enhance an individual’s or a community’s mental health status including:

  • Income and Social Status
  • Social Support Networks
  • Education
  • Employment and Working Conditions
  • Social Environments
  • Physical Environments
  • Healthy Child Development
  • Health Services
  • Gender
  • Culture
  • Age

Mental health promotion and community development initiatives have been developed in partnership with various community stakeholders to promote mental well-being for all citizens in the Sunrise Health Region.