Mental Health Needs a Clear Definition
Note this definition from the World Health Organization website:
“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
This definition, and many similar ones, is inadequate because:
- it not does not identify the essential components of mental health,
- it ignores the condition of someone with compromised or poor mental health,
- nor does it offer any guidance as to how to improve.
A clear definition of mental health would correct those deficits.
As desirable as it would be to begin by stating and explaining it, the definition I offer includes one term you’ve never heard of and another you may be only vaguely familiar with, if at all. Therefore, presenting the definition at this point would only be confusing.
So I’ll begin with a consideration of the two components of mental health and then come back to the definition. Stay with me. It will be worth the effort!