Mental health is an important part of our day-to-day lives. To perform at our best, and to live our life as much as we can we need to be mentally healthy. If we look at our four main components of Hauora – physical health, mental and emotional health, social well-being, and spiritual well-being – we can see that all these areas are needed to be mentally healthy. Looking at the “four walls of the house” theory, if each component of health is a wall, we need the walls to be strong to hold up the roof/house. If one area begins to suffer, say you stop being socially active, the wall will collapse. From there, the other walls have to bear the weight. Each wall taking on much more weight than it can will eventually cause the other walls to collapse too. Some believe this is where environmental mental illness begins.
Mental health is something everyone has. Good mental health is the ability to participate in life at the highest level of your own potential. Bad mental health – or mental illness – is when you cannot function appropriately in day-to-day life and you are unable to get the most out of life. Mental illness rates are becoming alarmingly high among teens and I believe it’s due to environmental mental illness. That due to the pressure of examinations etc, other areas of health are being let down. We need to teach our students specifically, about allocating time to each area attributed to mental well-being.
Mental illness, while sometimes treatable by tending to each area of health/well-being, is usually not helped by having these walls all strong. Sometimes when your walls are at their strongest, it’s just not strong enough. And that’s okay.
Mental health is very crucial to ensure that we are living our lives to the fullest and able to cope with daily pressures and stress. It also allows you to be productive within your life and add your contribution to the community around you. We have to remember to set aside time for ourselves, for each wall, and to ensure our mental health will remain strong throughout our lives – regardless of what is thrown our way.