Mental health refers to our emotional and psychological state, our social well–being and how we feel about ourselves and interact with others. Mental health is not the same as mental illness, although poor mental health can lead to mental and physical illnesses. When we have good mental health, we are resilient, can handle life’s challenges and stresses, have meaningful relationships and make sound decisions. Mental health, like physical health, is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood.
Being mentally healthy is influenced by life experiences, relationships with others, physical health and one’s environment. Just as people may experience physical problems over the course of their lives, they may also experience emotional or mental health problems that affect their thinking, mood and behaviors. This does not mean that a person who is going through a difficult time and is experiencing poor mental health has a mental illness. The benefits of improving one’s mental health are well worth the effort. Being mentally healthy helps you feel confident in your worth and abilities, accept your strengths and weaknesses, set realistic goals and create a sense of meaning and purpose in your life.
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