Public Policy and Mental Illness

The best way to appreciate your health is by knowing what it is. Health, according to the World Health Organization, “is a state of full physical, emotional and social well being and not just the absence of sickness and disease.” Various definitions have been used over time for various purposes. However, the definition has consistently remained the same – being in good health means having an optimum capacity to enjoy life to its fullest.

There are many determinants of health status. These determinants have been developed over time to include both external and internal aspects of an individual’s health. External determinants are those that come from the outside environment such as pollution and stress. Internal determinants are those that are part of the self, such as diet, behaviors, personality traits and habits, emotions, and genetics.

The wellness definition of health would then include both physiological as well as psychological determinants of well-being. This can be viewed on two perspectives. On the physiological perspective, one would look at the physiological features of a person and take into consideration factors such as general health, functioning capacity, resilience, age, and current health conditions as well as potential health risks. This perspective tends to make people feel better about themselves and thus may contribute to their overall well-being.

The second perspective of well-being is from the perspective of psychology. It includes the determinants of internal thinking patterns, emotional and behavioral responses, needs, preferences, and preferences as well as the experiences and context within which people live. A person with high values and beliefs about himself is more likely to perceive his health as higher and to set higher standards of health. Likewise, people with low social status and poor coping skills are prone to see their health as lower.

In addition, psychological well-being has implications for the treatment of psychological diseases and for preventive measures. Psychological diseases include anxiety and depression as well as bipolar disorder, personality disorders, substance abuse, and eating disorders. Psychological well-being, on the other hand, has clear implications for the prevention of diseases such as cancer and diabetes. It is hypothesized that people living in unhealthy environments, especially those lacking social contacts and opportunities, are at higher risk for common psychological diseases and are at greater risk for developing a psychiatric disorder than those who are exposed to less threatening environments. In line with this, we argue that the promotion of public health through the promotion of mental health services, such as support for mental health programs and better availability of mental health professionals, could improve the public’s overall health by preventing health disorders and promoting prevention.

Health and well-being are interdependent concepts and they each promote the other. One cannot exist without the other. The concept of health implies a physical body, and well-being implies a sense of mental health and happiness. It is important for health educators, researchers, practitioners, and parents to pay more attention to these interdependent concepts. The present environment and lifestyle create particular challenges to healthy psychology and should be understood to reap the full benefit of good mental health.