The real meaning of being mentally healthy


The real meaning of being mentally healthy

By Rachel O'Rourke

Mental health charity, the Mental Health Foundation (MHF), has published a fact sheet to sum-up what it means to be ‘mentally healthy’.

MHF’s fact sheet explains that being mentally healthy is not simply being without a mental health problem.

The Foundation suggests that you are in good mental health if you can:

  • Make the most of your potential
  • Cope with life
  • Play a full part in your family, workplace, community and among friends

Some people call mental health ‘emotional health’ or ‘wellbeing’, said MHF, adding that it is just as important as physical health.

MHF said: “Mental health is everyone’s business. We all have times when we feel down or stressed or frightened. Most of the time those feelings pass. But sometimes they develop into a more serious problem and that could happen to any one of us.”

The fact sheet added that everyone is different and that some people are able to “bounce back” while others else may feel weighed down by it for a longer period of time.

“Your mental health doesn’t always stay the same. It can change as circumstances change and as you move through different stages of your life,” MHF said.

“There’s a stigma attached to mental health problems. This means that people feel uncomfortable about them and don’t talk about them much. Many people don’t even feel comfortable talking about their feelings. But it’s healthy to know and say how you’re feeling.”

MHF is the UK’s leading mental health policy and service improvement charity, committed to reducing the suffering caused by mental ill health.

This week “Right Here”, a programme that the Mental Health Foundation runs in partnership with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation launched the first Innovation Lab project in partnership with Comic Relief and funding group the Nominet Trust, the project is the first of it’s kind in the UK. It will look at how technology can help young people look after their mental health, the lab will also look at how effective support can be accessed by 16-25 year olds.

The labs will design a confidential space where up to 40 young people will generate ideas on how to better use technology to help gain assistance for mental health issues.

The series of labs will conclude in February 2012 and Right Here hope that a range of funding streams and prototypes will be developed to support young people’s mental health needs as a result of the project/

To find out more about the work of the Mental Health Foundation please visit

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