What is mental health and wellbeing?

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While we all know that wellbeing is a good thing, the concept of ‘mental health’ isn’t as well understood.

The main thing you need to know is that we all have mental health. Just like we all have physical health. There’s no avoiding it! 

When someone is feeling good and functioning well then they’re experiencing good mental health. It’s the ability to cope with the day-to-day stresses of life, work productively, interact positively with others and realise our own potential (Mind, n.d.). Terms like ‘flourishing’ and ‘wellbeing’ can also be used describe this state. 

Someone with poor mental health on the other hand can be frequently stressed and have difficulties functioning like they’d like to. There are a lot of support services if this is the case for you.

Where’s your mental health at today?

Our state of mental health is changing constantly. It can be best to think of mental health as a spectrum, ranging from good mental health at one end to poor mental health on the other. Importantly, people move back and forth along the spectrum all the time - mental health is fluid, not fixed.

That’s why it’s important to spend time looking  after ourselves. Not only does spending time doing the things that keep us well help our mood and build positive mental health in the short term, it also helps us build our adaptive buffers so when times do get tough we’re able to adapt more quickly.

As you’ll see on this website, there are lots of simple things we can do to look after our mental health and wellbeing, now and in the future. 


 Mind. (n.d.). Guide to employees: Wellness Action Plans (WAPS) - How to support your mental health at work.