Mental Health Definition by WHO: Understanding the Importance of Well-being

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Mental health care sketch diagram


Mental health is an integral part of our overall well-being and plays a significant role in our daily lives. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides a comprehensive mental health definition that encompasses various aspects of mental well-being. In this article, we will delve into the WHO’s definition of mental health, explore its implications, and discuss the importance of prioritizing mental well-being in our lives.

Mental Health Definition by WHO

Mental health definition by WHO states that mental health is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a meaningful contribution to their community. It is not merely the absence of mental disorders but also the presence of positive psychological factors, such as happiness, self-esteem, and resilience.

Mental health is a dynamic concept that varies across cultures, societies, and individuals. It is influenced by various factors, including biological, psychological, and social determinants. WHO’s definition emphasizes the holistic nature of mental health, highlighting the interplay between individual strengths and vulnerabilities, social support systems, and environmental factors.

FAQs about Mental Health Definition by WHO

Q1: What does the WHO mental health definition imply?

The WHO mental health definition implies that mental health goes beyond the absence of mental illnesses. It emphasizes the importance of positive psychological well-being and the ability to adapt to life’s challenges. Mental health is not a static state but a continuous process of maintaining equilibrium amidst life’s ups and downs.

Q2: How does the WHO define mental well-being?

According to the WHO, mental well-being refers to a person’s emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It involves how individuals feel about themselves, their ability to manage emotions, handle stress, build positive relationships, and cope with the demands of life.

Q3: Why is it important to prioritize mental well-being?

Prioritizing mental well-being is crucial for several reasons. It enhances our resilience, improves our ability to cope with stress, and fosters positive relationships. By investing in our mental health, we can lead fulfilling lives, achieve our goals, and contribute to the well-being of our communities.

Q4: What are the determinants of mental health?

Mental health is influenced by various determinants, including biological factors (genetics, brain chemistry), psychological factors (cognitive processes, coping skills), and social factors (family support, socioeconomic status, societal attitudes). These determinants interact and shape an individual’s mental well-being.

Q5: How can individuals promote their mental health?

Individuals can promote their mental health by engaging in self-care activities, seeking social support, maintaining a healthy lifestyle (exercise, balanced diet), practicing mindfulness or meditation, and seeking professional help when needed. It is essential to address mental health proactively, just like we prioritize our physical health.

Q6: How can society support mental well-being?

Society plays a crucial role in promoting mental well-being. By fostering inclusive communities, reducing stigma around mental health, and providing accessible mental health services, societies can create an environment that supports and nurtures individuals’ mental well-being.


Understanding the mental health definition by WHO provides a foundation for prioritizing mental well-being in our lives. Mental health is not an isolated aspect of our well-being but an integral part of who we are. By embracing the holistic nature of mental health, we can cultivate resilience, maintain healthy relationships, and lead fulfilling lives. Let us strive to create a society that values and supports mental well-being, acknowledging that it is as essential as our physical health.

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