What are the factor affecting mental health

Content Outline 

  1. Introduction 
  2. What is the factor affecting mental health

Mental health is a positive concept related to the social and emotional wellbeing of individuals and communities. The concept is culturally defined, but it relates generally to the enjoying of life, ability to cope with stresses and adverse life events, fulfillment of goals, achieving highest potential and the ability to connect to others. The term ‘mental health’ is often misunderstood and interpreted as referring to mental ill-health. This can be confusing, especially since our ‘mental health services’ have been mostly concerned with the treatment of mental illness, rather than promoting mental health

Mental health is influenced by multiple biological, psychological, social and environmental factors that interact in complex ways. The factors that determine, or influence, mental health have been clustered into three key areas:

1-Structural level factors include social, economic, and cultural factors that are supportive of positive mental health, Eg: safe living environments, sanitation, employment and education.

2-.Community-level factors include a positive sense of belonging, activities to highlight and embrace diversity, social support, socially accepted behavior, participation in social activities and helping others

3-Psychological and Individual-level factors such as the ability to manage thoughts and emotions (Eg: Being Assertive than Reactive- using Emotional Intelligence), cope with stressors of everyday life, work under authority, having good self-esteem, self-acceptance, persistence and determination.

4-Risk and Protective factors The determinants of mental health can be expressed as risk and protective factors that are associated with the mental health of individuals and population groups. They are:

  • Risk factors increase the likelihood that mental health problems and illnesses will develop, or increase in duration or severity when a mental illness occurs. Some risk factors play a causal role in mental illness (Eg: exposure to a traumatic event like sexual abuse is linked to the development of post‐traumatic stress disorder) while other risk factors may be indicators that an individual is at higher risk (Eg: the higher risk of depression in women in the postnatal period that is after childbirth). The lack of Structural, Community, Psychological and Individual factors also increase the risk of mental illness.(Eg: Congested living spaces, Malnutrition, poverty, homelessness, home environment, unemployment etc)
  •  Protective factors enhance and protect mental health and reduce the likelihood an illness will develop. Protective factors enhance an individual’s ability to cope with stressors and enjoy life. Eg:Some protective factors are internal, such as a person’s temperament, adjustability, empathy etc while others are external, related to social, economic and environmental supports.


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