What is Mental Health?

Mental health involves effective functioning, which leads to a healthier lifestyle involving productivity in work, academia, and social life, as well as ability to adapt and change in times of crisis. 

Mental health is a framework for different mental attributes, such as emotions, learning, self-esteem and resilience. It is also one of many keys to healthy personal and social relationships and emotional well-being. 

What is mental illness or a mental health condition?

Mental illness is a type of a health condition that impacts emotions, thoughts, and/or behavior. Mental health conditions can impact one or combination of any of the three factors listed above, and are involved with feelings of distress and difficulty in social, work, or family life functioning. 

Mental illness is common and treatable.

Difference between Mental Illness and Mental Health.

Mental health: collective state of our emotional, psychological and social well-being. Mental health, like physical health, affects how we feel and act. Mental health is something we can take care of, like physical health. 

Mental illness: Mental illness is a condition that directly impacts our mental health that leads to dysfunction in our daily lives. 

In short, mental health is our state of mental well-being, just like our physical health. Mental illness is a condition that impacts mental health, similar to how physical ailments impact our physical health. 

How to Take Care of Your Mental Health

Just like your physical health, mental health also needs to be cared for. Here are some ways to take care of your mental health: 

  • Talk about your feelings
  • Exercise regularly/ keep active 
  • Eat well, cultivate a healthy relationship with food
  • Be comfortable reaching out for help 
  • Take breaks, take time to unwind 
  • Do something you are good at 

Red Flags: Signs to Look Out for 

The following are red flags to help you gauge your mental health. This list should not be used for diagnosis:

  • Excessive worry
  • Frequent outbursts of anger
  • Excessive fear/ anxiety that you can’t control
  • Changes in academic/ work performance 
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Excessive substance use
  • Persistent nightmares
  • Dramatic changes in sleeping patterns