We all have mental health. Mental health is more than the absence of mental disorders, it’s a state of wellbeing that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realise their abilities and work well, and contribute to their community.
The Public Health Agency of Canada defines a positive state of mental health as “The capacity of each of us to feel, think, and act in ways that enhance our ability to enjoy life and deal with the challenges we face. It is a positive sense of emotional and spiritual well-being that respects the importance of culture, equity, social justice, interconnections and personal dignity.”
The presence or absence of a mental illness is not a predictor of mental health. Someone without a mental illness could have poor mental health, just as someone with a mental illness could have good mental health.
Mental health exists on a continuum, which is experienced differently from one person to the next. Where we sit on the continuum can change quickly and it can be impacted by a range of factors.
Hear Dr Hillary Bennett talk about what mental health is and how it sits on a continuum: