Understanding mental health. To understand mental health we first need to have a basic understanding of what mental health is and what mental health is not. What is mental health? Mental health is a state of mental well-being that encompasses our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. Our mental health affects how we think, feel, and act. It helps us to relate to others, manage stress and make choices.
Just like everyone has their own physical health, each of us has our own mental health too. Mental health can range from anywhere between poor mental health to positive mental health. Everyone’s mental health fluctuates and there are many different factors that affect our state of mental health.
Mental health is an essential part of well-being that supports our individual and collective abilities to survive and thrive in this world. Mental health is a basic human right and it plays an important role in personal, community, and socioeconomic development.
Our mental health is ever-changing on the mental health continuum. It can vary and shift at any time and there are many defining factors that influence it. These factors have the ability to protect us and affect us. Some of the major factors that impact our mental health are
- Physical health
- Home Environment
- Interpersonal relationships
- School and education
Research by academics from Maynooth University, National College of Ireland, and Trinity College Dublin has found that 42% of Irish adults have a mental health disorder and more than one in ten have attempted suicide.
Living with a mental health condition can be challenging especially if it is interfering with your personal life/work life but the good news is that it can be treated. Life is hard as it is, never mind trying to navigate through it with mental illness present.
I have lived 12 years with a diagnosis of major depressive disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder. It thankfully has gotten easier as I got older. Dealing with big feelings like depression and self-hate as a child is so difficult. It can also be hard to get the appropriate help at such a young age. I realized from my own experience; that sitting in that counselor’s room on a chair twice the size of me with my feet unable to reach the ground will forever be imprinted in my mind as one of the scariest experiences of my life. And yet still I am grateful I had that chance all the same.
I am living proof that you can live out a fulfilling successful life while managing your mental illness/condition. I myself find a combination of medication and weekly therapy to be the treatment plan that works for me and with a qualified mental health professional you can find a plan that is personalized and unique to your own needs and requirements.
There are many different types of support and help available.
- Mental Health Team
- General Practitioner
- Therapy (Cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavioral therapy, ect.. )
- Art therapy and music therapy
- Hypnotherapy and holistic therapy
- Group therapy
- Support groups
- Helplines, websites, hotlines.
- Coping Skills.
The list is endless so believe me when I tell you, that I am definite there is something out there that can help support you.
Help is always available and you will be alone in this if all else fails know you have me and you can reach out to me any time. You can find the support and resources page compiled with all the supports/organizations you can avail of in Ireland down below.