Well-being with fulfilling one’s potential.” The concept of Well-being

Well-being
and health is a concept that has been an area of interest of researchers since
quite a long time. Well – being refers to the ideas that individuals hold about
themselves, feeling healthy, happy and well off. It generally includes global
judgments of life satisfaction and feelings ranging from depression to joy. According
to Davidson et al (2003) “Well-being is a state of successful performance
throughout the life course integrating physical, cognitive and socio-emotional
functions that results in productive activities deemed significant by one’s
cultural community, fulfilling social relationships, and the ability to
transcend moderate psychosocial and environmental problems. Well being also has
a subjective dimension in the sense of satisfaction associated with fulfilling
one’s potential.” The concept of Well-being integrates mental health (mind) and
physical health (body) in a holistic manner. To understand the state and
conception of well-being earnestly, it is important to understand the idea of
Health and its value in human life.

 

Health
can be termed as the most frequently used, however least understood word in the
present time. According to World Health Organization (1948) health is defined
as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely
the absence of disease or infirmity”. In 1986, WHO added to this definition to
more realistically reflect what is achievable. This described health as “the
extent to which an individual or group is able on the one hand to realize
aspirations and satisfy needs; and on the other hand to change or cope with the
environment.”

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Hence,
health includes both components of physical as well as mental health. In the
present time, 21st century physical health has become an
increasingly studied and developed field. Individuals are becoming well
informed about the concept of physical health and its variables. They have
increasingly become aware of its determinants and consequences and there is an
upward trend in the adoption of responsibility in this area henceforth.

 

On the other hand mental health still
remains a reality yet to be realized and achieved. Mental health can defined as
the balanced development of the individual’s personality and emotional
attitudes which enable him to live harmoniously with his fellowmen and
community. Mental health forms an integral part of health. It is not confined
to the absence of mental illnesses and it goes beyond that. It refers to a
broad array of activities directly or indirectly related to the mental
well-being, prevention of mental disorders, and treatment and rehabilitation of
people affected by mental disorders. Interventions, focusing on
raising awareness of mental health issues and mobilizing efforts in support of
mental health, are necessary for addressing the situation. Mental health, like
other aspects of health, is affected by a range of socioeconomic factors that
need to be addressed through comprehensive strategies for promotion,
prevention, treatment and recovery in a whole-of-government approach. Determinants of mental health and mental disorders include not
only individual attributes such as the ability to manage one’s thoughts,
emotions, behaviours and interactions with others, but also social, cultural,
economic, political and environmental factors such as national policies, social
protection, living standards, working conditions, and community social supports.
Poverty and low education levels are the key amongst these factors. Specific
psychological and personality factors also contribute towards the
vulnerability. Genetic factors also play some role.

 

Mental health and wellness hence has
become a concept and ideal that is being strived to achieve for. In India, WHO estimates that the burden of mental health problems
is of the tune of 2,443 DALYs per 100,000 population, and the age-adjusted
suicide rate per 100,000 population is 21.1. It is estimated that, in India,
the economic loss, due to mental health conditions, between 2012-2030, is 1.03
trillions of 2010 dollars. Mental health workforce in
India (per 100,000 population) include psychiatrists (0.3), nurses (0.12),
psychologists (0.07) and social workers (0.07).

 

Mental
illness and mental health concerns have thus become a national challenge for
the country. According to National Mental Health Survey conducted by the
National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS), at least 13.7
per cent of India’s general population has various mental disorders; 10.6 per
cent of them require immediate interventions. While nearly 10 per cent of the
population has common mental disorders, 1.9 per cent of the population suffers
from severe mental disorders.

Mental
health and illness concerns spans the entire population of India, however it is
the youth and children that are the most affected by it. In India, mental
health services, especially for children and adolescents, are limited both in
terms of number of facilities as well as trained professionals (WHO-AIMS,
2006). WHO Atlas highlights the low number of mental health professionals in
India. The average national deficit of psychiatrists is estimated to be 77%
(WHO, 2005). The majority of mental health services are restricted to urban
areas, that is, medical colleges or regional mental health institutes.

Mental
disorders and substantive mental health problems in children and youth are
complex phenomena in their patho-etiology, social and clinical expressions, and
in the interventions that can ameliorate, modify or prevent their onset,
effects or negative outcomes. It has been noted that mental disorders are one
of the most prevalent illnesses affecting young people and is the largest
single category to contribute disability-adjusted life years to the global
burden of disease, accounting for almost three times the disability-adjusted
life years attributable to cancer and heart disease in this age group. More
than two-thirds of mental illnesses onset before 25 years of age, and these
disorders are mostly chronic with substantial negative impact on multiple
personal, interpersonal, social and physical health domains. Early
identification and intervention can decrease both short and long-term morbidity
and may substantially improve outcomes.

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