What is mental health?

Mental health is sometimes known as emotional health.

The Mental Health Foundation says that good mental health is characterised by a person’s ability to fulfil several key functions and activities, including:

  • the ability to learn
  • the ability to feel, express and manage a range of positive and negative emotions
  • the ability to form and maintain good relationships with others
  • the ability to cope with and manage change and uncertainty.

Factors that can contribute to poor mental health include:

  • A mental health condition, such as depression, bipolar disorder or PTSD
  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Illness
  • Bereavement

Your mental health is just as important as your physical health and it’s important to look after it. Having poor mental health can affect your physical health – and vice versa. Your mental health can also change over time.

More people are finding it difficult to maintain good mental health in the face of COVID-19 because of loneliness, a change in routine and being unable to do things that bring us joy, and the fear of becoming unwell. Find out how you can maintain good mental health during COVID-19.