Page: Mental Health

Mental Health and Wellbeing

Mental health and wellbeing are vital for healthy living.

Mental health is a ‘positive sense of well-being’ most commonly referred to as a person’s perceptions, feelings, thinking and behaviour which, when working in harmony, enables us to interact positively with others and our environment.

Defining mental health as a ‘positive sense of well-being’ challenges the idea that mental health is the opposite of mental illness.

Wellbeing is a subjective measure of life satisfaction, which relates to the thoughts and feelings a person has about his or her life.

There is a lot of current debate about the use of measures of wellbeing to gauge the health of nations and human development. In response, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has developed the Your Better Life Index which enables people to participate in the debate and decide for themselves what contributes most to well-being.

This index identifies 11 topics essential to well-being in terms of:

  • material living conditions (housing, income, jobs) and
  • quality of life (community, education, environment, governance, health, life satisfaction, safety and work-life balance).

Ruah mental health supports this broader view of mental health and wellbeing, which emphasises the connection between people and their environment and the influence of key risk factors such as economic disadvantage, employment status, social support and social inclusion, and access to resources