What Is Mental Health

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What is mental health?
Mental health is a state of well-being in which a person understands his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community. Both physical and mental health are the result of a complex interplay between many individual and environmental factors, including: * family history of illness and disease/genetics

* lifestyle and health behaviours (e.g., smoking, exercise, substance use) * levels of personal and workplace stress
* exposure to toxins
* exposure to trauma
* personal life circumstances and history
* access to supports (e.g., timely healthcare, social supports) * coping skills
When the demands placed on someone exceed their resources and coping abilities, their mental health will be negatively affected. Two examples of common demands are: i) working long hours under difficult circumstances, and ii) caring for a chronically ill relative. Economic hardship, unemployment, underemployment and poverty also have the potential to harm mental health.

What is mental illness?
Mental illness is a recognized, medically diagnosable illness that results in the significant impairment of an individual's cognitive, affective or relational abilities. Mental disorders result from biological, developmental and/or psychosocial factors and can be managed using approaches comparable to those applied to physical disease (i.e., prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation).

What is psychological safety and health?
The Canadian Oxford Dictionary defines psychological as "of, relating to, affecting, or arising in the mind". The concept of "psychological safety" involves preventing injury to the mental well-being of workers. A psychologically safe and healthy workplace is one that promotes workers' mental well-being and does not harm employee mental health through negligent, reckless or intentional ways....
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