Mental health and psychological well-being are core aspects of a person’s capability to lead a successful and fulfilling life. This includes the ability to develop and maintain different relationships, work, study, pursue social activities, and make decisions regarding employment, education, housing, and other aspects on a daily basis. However, any disruptions made to a person’s mental well-being can compromise these choices and their capability to make these choices; thereby, resulting in not only a diminished level of functioning but also a greater welfare loss on societal and household levels.
One commonplace definition of mental health is the state of well-being whereby an individual can realise his or her abilities and can cope with the normal stresses of life, can operate fruitfully and productively and is able to make valuable contributes to the community. Caring for an elderly relative or disabled family member can impact mental health. Ensuring regular help with home care can help ease the burden of this. The reference to this definition is clear as it shows how psychological well-being or mental health is affected by personal attributes and characteristics; as well as the person’s socioeconomic circumstances and their broader environmental settings.
1. The Individual’s Behaviours And Characteristics
A person’s individual attributes and behaviours relate greatly to their innate and learned capability to deal with feelings, thoughts and the ability to manage his or herself in daily life. This is known as emotional intelligence. Social intelligence involves interaction with the social world and community by becoming engaged with social activities, taking responsibility for your behaviour and respecting the views of others. A person’s mental well-being can also be impacted by biological and genetic factors; for example, a person can be born with specific determinants that contribute to chromosomal abnormalities or intellectual disability by exposure to alcohol during the prenatal period or oxygen deprivation during birth.
2. The Social And Economic Factors
An individual’s capacity for development and growth is greatly influenced by their social environment, including their ability to engage positively with friends, family members and colleagues. By engaging with other people, the person earns a living for themselves and their families. An individual’s development is also influenced by socioeconomic circumstances and settings in which they find themselves. Any lost or limited opportunities to gain income or education can be blamed on negative socioeconomic factors.
3. The Environmental Factors
The broader geopolitical and sociocultural settings in which a person resides can also influence the individual’s, community’s and household’s psychological well-being. This impact includes an influence on the levels of access to basic services, such as water and health services by rule of law; exposure to the predominant cultural values, practices, attitudes, and beliefs; as well as the social and economic policies that are formed on a national level. For example, on-going global financial issues can present significant consequences for people on a mental health level including factors like harmful use of substances and higher rates of suicide. Social inequality, gender inequality, discrimination, and conflict are examples of negative structural determinants of psychological well-being.
It is essential that one emphasise the factors which interact with each other in a comprehensive method; whereby, they can operate for or against people’s mental health states. For instance, a person’s level of self-worth could be either diminished or enhanced dependent on their household economic social security or their social support. Either of these factors can be affected by political instability, economic growth or social justice within a country.
4. Protection And Promotion Of Mental Health
Due to the range of risks to mental health being vast, the responses to the risks need to be multi-sectoral and multi-layered. Strategies should include the early recognition and prevention of behavioural problems and emotional problems, particularly in childhood and adolescence; the nurturing of individual behaviours in formative stages of development; the provision of suitable working and living conditions to enable positive self-determination and psychosocial development; the promotion of rights and care of individuals with mental health disorders; promotion of anti-discrimination campaigns; and, social protection of the homeless and people in poverty.