Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 24th, 2017

Effective Factors in Mental Health

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Effective Factors in Mental Health

There is no agreed definition for mental health or illness. Those who play their role constructively in society are mentally healthy and vice versa. Culture will strongly affect a society’s values and beliefs, which will, then, affect health and disease defined by the society. An issue will be deemed right in one society but wrong in another society.
The word “health” refers to a state of complete emotional and physical well-being. Healthcare exists to help people maintain this optimal state of health. In 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
In 1986, the WHO further clarified that health is, “A resource for everyday life, not the objective of living. Health is a positive concept emphasizing social and personal resources, as well as physical capacities”. This means that health is a resource to support an individual’s function in wider society. A healthful lifestyle provides the means to lead a full life.
More recently, researchers have defined health as the ability of a body to adapt to new threats and infirmities. They base this on the idea that modern science has dramatically increased human awareness of diseases and how they work in the last few decades.
Mental health refers to a person’s emotional, social, and psychological wellbeing. Mental health is as important as physical health to a full, active lifestyle.
Environmental factors play a role. Sometimes the environment alone is enough to impact health. Other times, an environmental trigger can cause illness in a person who is genetically susceptible.
Education is usually assessed by the use of two standard questions that ask about the number of years of schooling completed and the educational credentials gained. The quality of education also may be relevant to health, but it is more difficult to assess accurately. An extensive literature has linked education to health outcomes, including mortality, morbidity, health behaviors, and functional limitations. The relationship between lower educational attainment and worse health outcomes occurs throughout the life course. Those who are educated will learn the better way of protecting their health. Moreover, they have greater information about health care and the way for asking information about health. Researches have shown that the high education rate will let people to be in pursuit of early cure and prevention. They also learn in social media how to help people afflicted with mental health.
Stressful circumstances, making people feel worried, anxious and unable to cope, are damaging to health and may lead to premature death. Social and psychological circumstances can cause long-term stress. Continuing anxiety, insecurity, low self-esteem, social isolation and lack of control over work and home life, have powerful effects on health.
Cultural issues can affect health. The traditions and customs of a society and a family’s response to them can have a good or bad impact on health. For example, around the Mediterranean, people are more likely to consume high levels of fruits, vegetables, and olive, and to eat as a family, compared with cultures with a high consumption of fast food. Family also plays a pivotal role shaping the personality of people. It is said that parents are the most significant instructors of children. A healthy family will support all peace and tranquility of all family members. The family environment will affect the physical and mental health of its members. To have a healthy family, parents will have to pay attention to their children and their needs. Children acquire all behaviors of their parents. Hence, parents have to put positive effect on them.
Economic environment is also crucial in one’s health. Poverty and unemployment will trigger a strong mental stress that put one’s health at risk. On the contrary, job safety and fair job opportunity will increase one’s satisfaction and ensure mental health. The high unemployment rate will lead to various diseases, including mental disease, and shorten life expectancy. It will further result in stress, depression, cardiovascular disease, etc. It is worth saying that only having job will not mitigate the disease, the quality of job is also very effective. People have to have suitable jobs that should not degrade their personality.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared in 2001 that it is not only radical violation of human rights such as rape and domestic violence that put an adverse effect on one’s health but lack of food, lack of justice in distributing facilities, and lack of access to health care are also the factors associated with mental health.
Many factors combine together to affect the health of individuals and communities. Whether people are healthy or not, is determined by their circumstances and environment. To a large extent, factors such as where we live, the state of our environment, genetics, our income and education level, and our relationships with friends and family all have considerable impacts on health.

Ali Rezayi is the permanent writer of the daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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