What is mental health?

Mental health means striking a balance in all aspects of your life: social, physical, economic and psychological.

Mental Health & Wellbeing guide spread

This information is available in our Mental Health & Wellbeing guide for LGB people. Click here to download >>

Reaching a balance is a learning process and at times, you may tip the balance too much in one direction and have to find your feet again. Just as we are all individual and unique, so will the balance you need to achieve to feel at your best.

Mental health isn’t just about mental illness and having good mental health means we reach a state of wellbeing, where we feel able to reach our full potential. We feel able to cope with the stresses and strains of everyday life, be productive and maintain positive relationships with friends, family and our wider community.

Our mental health has lots of different layers and one of the most important, is how we feel about ourselves. Having good mental health means we take care of ourselves, feel valuable as a person and don’t set ourselves unreasonable and impossible goals and standards to live by, for most of the time.

We all have times when we don’t feel great; we might feel low, angry, stressed out or anxious, but these feelings can and do, usually pass with time. However, for some of us these feelings can last a lot longer and become more intense, even developing into something like depression.

This can happen to every one of us; mental health is everyone’s business and the more you know about yours, the more you can look after it and notice when things aren’t right.

What can influence my mental health?

There are lots of things that can influence our mental health, from internal factors like illness to external events such as experiencing homophobia. Most of the things that influence our mental health can be put into one of the following categories:

  • Physical
  • Social
  • Environmental
  • Psychological

We all go through ups and downs in life, and good mental health helps us to become more resilient and cope with things day-to-day.