For Experts

  • “Mental” refers to thoughts (thought content), feelings (emotions), and related brain functioning.
  • Mental health varies on a continuum from “poor” to “good”. Good mental health is a state of psychological well-being. Good mental health generally enables people to function, realize their abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, and contribute to their community. 
  • Mental disorder severity lies on a different continuum from mental health and varies from mild to severe (Keyes, 2010). A person can have good mental health even though they have a mental illness or a mental disorder. Conversely, but more commonly, a person can have poor mental health but still not meet the diagnostic criteria for any specific mental disorder as described in the DSM or the ICD.
  • Mental health is influenced by a wide variety of determinants, not only potentially psychologically traumatic events and stressors.

For General Public

  • Refers to a person’s thoughts and feelings.
  • Mental health exists on a continuum between poor and good. In good mental health, a person knows their abilities, copes well with normal stress, works well, and contributes to their community.
  • People with a diagnosis of a mental disorder can be coping well and still have good mental health.
  • On the other hand, a person can have poor mental health without having a diagnosis of a mental disorder.
  • Mental health is influenced by a wide variety of factors, not only potentially psychologically traumatic events and stressors.

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