What Exactly is Mental Health? – Best Care EAP

Good question! May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to explore answers to that question. Best Care EAP recently asked attendees at its Management Boot Camp training what they think of when asked to define mental health. Here’s what a few people had to say:

“It’s a stigma people don’t like to talk about.”
“It’s the thoughts and feelings coming from your mind.”
“It makes me think of stress, depression and anxiety.”
“It’s all the emotions and thoughts about yourself and others.” “I think it’s about having trouble coping with life.”

We all have mental health, and we need to take care of it like we do our physical health. Throughout life, everyone experiences a range of mental health challenges that are influenced by factors that can’t always be controlled.

The Mental Health Action Network identifies a continuum of experiences to help gauge how you’re feeling. They’re shared here with permission from the network:

  • Thriving: This is where you want to be on the continuum: you’re feeling good, balanced and able to cope with the challenges that come your way through work, school, or relationships.
  • Managing: At this point on the continuum, you’re having to do some work to keep things balanced, cope in healthy ways and meet the demands of work, school, or home life. But, overall, you’re making it work.
  • Struggling: Your emotional struggles are impacting work, school, or relationships. While your instinct might be to just suck it up and push through, it’s important to acknowledge you’re struggling, find ways to take care of yourself and reach out for help if needed.
  • Distressed. Mental health challenges are really interfering with your quality of life and ability to get things done. You may be struggling with untreated mental health conditions like depression or anxiety disorder and it’s critical to reach out for help before things get worse. Crisis situations require a call to 911 or 988 for immediate support.

No matter what you or someone you know may be experiencing, there are ways to take action to support yourself and those around you…and no matter how you define mental health, remember that mental health is health and deserves your attention.

Interested in what Best Care EAP can do for your organization? Call Jean Faber at (402) 354-8000 or email eap@bestcareeap.org