Characteristics of mental health
Health is a state of being hale,
sound or whole in body, mind or soul.
Mental health today is recognised as an important aspect of
ones total health status is basic factor that contribute to the maintenance of
physical health as well as social effectiveness.
In the words of John, Sutton and Webster is a positive but
relative quality of life. It is a condition, which is a characteristic of the
average person who needs the demands of life on the basis of his own capacities
and limitations. By the word relative we imply that the degree of mental
health, which an individual enjoys at a time, is continuously changing.
It is not mere absence of mental
illness that constitutes mental health. On the other hand it is a positive
active quality of the individual' s daily living. This quality of living is
manifested in the behaviour of an individual whose body and mind are working
together in the same direction. His thoughts, feelings, actions, functional
harmony is oriented towards the common end.
It means the ability to balance
feelings, derives ambition and ideals in ones daily living. It means the
ability to face and accept realities of life. It connotes such habits of work
and attitudes towards people and things that bring maximum satisfaction and
happiness to the individual. But the individual gets this satisfaction and
happiness without any friction with the social order or group to which he or
From these one can conclude that mental health has two
important aspects. It is both individual and social. The individual aspect
connotes that the individual is informally adjusted. He is self confident,
adequate and free from internal conflicts and tension or in consistencies. He
is skillful enough to be able to adapt to new situations. But he achieves this
internal adjustment in a social setup.
has certain value system, customs and traditions, by which it governs itself
and promote the general welfare if its members. It is in this the social frame
work that the internal adjustment has to be built up only then the individual
becomes a person who is acceptable as a member of society.
It is an understandable fact that
social forces are in constant flux. They are constantly moving and changing.
Similarly our internal adjustment is also affecting various stresses. As such
mental health is a process of adjustment, which involves compromise and
adaptation, growth and continuity.
Because of the significance of
individual and social aspects some psychologists have defined mental health as
the ability of the individual to make personal and social adjustments.
If one can establish a satisfactory
relationship between himself and his environment, between his needs, desires
and those of other people or if one can meet the demands of a situation he has
Adjustment results in happiness because it implies that
emotional conflicts and tensions have been resolved and relieved. Keeping this
criterion in mind one can say that a mentally healthy nurse will be able to
make successful adjustments that are needed by the nature of her job adjustment
to her strenuous life to work and study toward duties to night duty and to a
residential life away from her home.
Other definitions of mental health
refer to such abilities as of making decisions, of assuming responsibilities in
accordance with ones capacities, of finding satisfaction, success and happiness
in the accomplishment of everyday tasks of living effectively with others of
showing socially considerate behaviour.