What is the concept of mental health? What are the causes of mental disorders?


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The concept of mental health:

Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to deal with stressful situations in life, realize their potential, study and work successfully, and contribute to society. It is an essential component of health and well-being that underpins our individual and collective abilities to make decisions, build relationships, and shape the world in which we live. Mental health is a basic human right. In addition, they are essential for personal, social, social and economic development.

Mental health is not limited to the absence of mental disorders. It represents a continuous continuum, individual for each person, in which a person encounters a range of factors of varying degrees of complexity and experiences different levels of stress, resulting in very different potential social and clinical consequences for each individual.

Mental health disorders is a collective term that covers mental disorders, various types of psychosocial disabilities, and other mental health conditions associated with severe distress, functional impairment, or risk of self-harm. As a general rule, people with mental health issues are more likely to have lower levels of mental health, although there are possible exceptions.

Causes of mental health disorders:

Throughout our lives, multiple individual, social, and structural determinants can collectively protect or undermine our mental health and alter our attitude toward mental health continuity.

Various individual psychological and biological factors, such as emotional skills, substance abuse, and genetic characteristics, can make a person more susceptible to mental health problems.
Exposure to adverse social, economic, geopolitical, and environmental conditions, including poverty, violence, inequality, and disadvantaged social conditions, also increases the risk of mental disorders.
Risk factors can appear at all stages of life, but factors that appear during the most important periods of human development, especially in early childhood, have a particularly strong negative effect. For example, harsh parenting and corporal punishment are known to undermine children’s mental health,
School bullying is a major risk factor for developing mental health problems.
Global threats such as economic recession, disease outbreaks, humanitarian emergencies, forced population displacement, and a worsening climate crisis raise the level of risk for an entire population.

Protective factors from mental health disorders:

Protective factors also occur throughout a person’s life and contribute to mental resilience. These factors include:

  • our individual social and emotional skills and traits,
  • positive social experiences,
  • good education,
  • decent jobs,
  • live in a safe neighborhood,
  • Community cohesion, and more.

The influence of risk factors and protective factors can have a different scale. It is difficult to predict the impact of any individual risk or protective factor. In most people, exposure to no risk factor causes a mental disorder, while many people can develop a mental disorder even in the absence of known risk factors. However, a range of different interacting determinants of mental health can both enhance and undermine mental health.

Promote mental health and prevent mental disorders:

Mental health promotion and prevention interventions are based on identifying individual, social and structural determinants of mental health and implementing interventions to reduce risks, increase mental resilience, and create a mental health friendly environment. Interventions may be directed at individuals, specific populations, or entire populations.

Actions that go beyond the health sector

Mental health promotion and prevention programs must reach the education, labour, justice, transportation, environment, housing and social care sectors. The health sector can make a significant contribution to this by integrating mental health promotion and prevention into health care services, and by promoting, initiating and supporting cross-sectoral collaboration and coordination where appropriate.

Suicide prevention is one of the global priorities included in the Sustainable Development Goals.

Greater strides can be made in preventing suicide by limiting access to suicide methods, responsible media coverage of such cases, teaching adolescents social and emotional skills, and taking early action. An inexpensive and cost-effective intervention to reduce suicide rates is to ban highly hazardous pesticides.

Promoting the mental health of children and adolescents is another priority

They can be achieved through policies and legislation that promote and protect mental health and aim to support parents and caregivers in caring for their children in a caring and respectful manner, implementing appropriate school programs and creating a safe and supportive environment for children in communities and online. School social and emotional learning programs are among the most effective mental health promotion strategies in countries of all income levels.

Mental health in the workplace

Relevant measures can also be taken in this field in the areas of legislation and regulation, organizational strategies, training of managers and implementation of interventions at the worker level.

Care and treatment of mental health problems

In the context of national efforts to promote mental health, it is necessary not only to protect and promote the mental well-being of the entire population, but also to meet the needs of people with mental disorders.

community mental health care,

It is more accessible and acceptable to the population than inpatient care, helps prevent human rights abuses, and leads to better outcomes for mental disorders. Community mental health care must be built into a range of related services

Mental health services integrated into the public health care system

Usually operating at the general hospital level and as part of a joint assignment with the participation of non-specialist primary care workers;
Community mental health services, which may include community mental health centers and teams, mental rehabilitation services, support groups and visitor services;
Services that provide mental health services in social care and non-medical settings such as child protection services, school health services, and prison facilities.
The huge gap in care for common mental health conditions such as depression and anxiety requires countries to find innovative ways to diversify and expand care for such conditions, such as providing non-specialized counseling or self-help using digital platforms.

WHO activities

All WHO Member States have committed to the Comprehensive Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2030, which aims to improve the mental health of the population by strengthening effective leadership and management, providing comprehensive, integrated and resilient community care, and implementing mental health strategies. promotion and prevention of mental disorders; And the development of information systems, evidence and research. According to an analysis of the country’s performance in implementing the Action Plan presented in the Mental Health Atlas 2020 published by the World Health Organization in 2020, progress towards the agreed action plan goals remains insufficient.

The Global Mental Health Report, published by the World Health Organization, calls on all countries to speed up implementation of the Action Plan. The report argues that all countries can make significant progress in improving the mental health of their populations by taking action in three key areas of transformation:

increasing the value of mental health in the eyes of individuals, society at large, and government; In line with realizing this value, ensuring the necessary commitment, interaction and investment from all stakeholders and in all sectors;
Transforming the physical, social and economic characteristics of the environment – at home, at school, in the workplace and at the level of society as a whole – to improve the protection of mental health and the prevention of mental disorders;
Strengthen the mental health system so that the full range of mental health needs are met through a network of accessible, affordable and high-quality community services and support.
WHO focuses on the protection and fulfillment of human rights, enabling people to share their personal experiences, and ensuring a multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach.

WHO continues to work at the national and international levels, including in humanitarian emergencies, to provide policy advice, evidence, tools and technical support to governments and partners to strengthen collective responses to mental health and change in order to improve mental health for all people around the world.


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