BlogTwo- Evolving understanding of Mental Health

There are immense perplexities surrounding mental health identity, in particular with the knowledge around mental well-being and its affect on inevitably every existent individual on earth. Do you not lust and aspire for complete and authentic happiness: a life that is pleasant, engaging, meaningful and achievement combined with the influences of relationships, freedom and value?
‘Television is a powerful influence, both because it encourages comparison and because of its innate effects’ (Slade,M. 2010), isolating mental health as an identity of sole mental illness portrayal. The role of mental health and its professionals should be comprised of challenging stigma and creating well-being building societies as well as treating illness.

Dr Ronald Manderscheid a leader in Mental Health and Substance Use Programs highlights the lack of understanding and stigma around Mental Health. The 2009 article ‘Evolving Definitions of Mental illness and Wellness’ communicates Mental Health as an issue needing to be transitioned from one that is a diagnostic focus, to a personal focused definition. He narrates the core actualities of Mental Health as a construct of two dynamic issues. One being mental wellness and mental illness, stressing them as separate issues that lack extreme understanding within society. Mental wellness refers to the degree of one feeling positive and enthusiastic about ones self and life, where as mental Illness refers to the presence of disease. Dr Manderscheid communicates mental health as factors deriving from

  • subjective wellbeing
  • influences of judgmental and motivational processes.
  • emphases of growth, meaning and personal capacity. (human potential).
  • life satisfaction
  • purpose
  • personal growth
  • environmental mastery
  • self acceptance
  • autonomy
  • positive relationships.

The composition of mental wellness is an immense stretch to the infamous ideology of mental health within the stigma of society and the implications it suppresses upon the individual and their surrounding environment. The narrator has completely remoulded and augmented the imperative existence of mental health, conceptualising it into an responsive view for all.

United Kingdom Professor Mike Slade, leading specialist in the Recovery of the Mental Health Sector and Mental health services, has strengthened the position of Dr Manderscheid philosophy of promoting mental wellbeing within the mental health sector. Within the debating article “Mental illness and well-being: the central importance of positive psychology and recovery approaches” intensely explores mental health and how mental health services could more effectively promote well-being.

Slade empowers its audience to grasp the personal composition of the declaration of health

“A state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”, (Slade,M. 2010)

as well as the declaration of mental health

“A state of well-being in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make contribution to his or her community”. (Slade,M. 2010)

The 2010 article urges a creation for creating a health orientated service that does not validate itself through the modest correlations between measures of depression and measures of psychological well-being, ranging from a statistical robust standpoint.

Slade delves into the understanding of recovery which emerge from personal recounts of people affected by mental illness and communicates their success within the journey through emphasising the centrality of identity, hope, meaning and personal responsibility. The author cleverly uses the widely cited definition to accredit the construct of engaging within one’s individual life and their basis of their own goals and strengths and reclaimed valued identity and social roles with points of well-being rather than treatments of illness.

The Professor amplifies the new area of knowledge of positive psychology for what is needed for a ‘good life’- an inevitable desire all individuals want to achieve, relevant to people with or without mental illness.

“the field of positive psychology at the subjective level is about valued subjective experiences: well-being, contentment, and satisfaction (in the past); hope and optimism (for the future); and flow and happiness (in the present). At the individual level, it is about positive individual traits: the capacity for love and vocation, courage, interpersonal skill, aesthetic sensibility, perseverance, forgiveness, originality, future mindedness, spirituality, high talent, and wisdom.
At the group level, it is about the civic virtues and the institutions that move individuals toward better citizenship: responsibility, nurturance, altruism, civility, moderation, tolerance and work ethic”. (Slade,M. 2010)

The transformations from negative thinking into a positive cognitive process not only strengthens the position of all individuals engaging with Slade’s perspective, but also correlate with striving to achieve an existing outcome that people with mental illnesses are on a diverse level.

Professor Slade perfectly articulates the exact structure formation within the perception of mental health productively is the framework of dialogue and influencing content within the health system and professionals themselves.
The highly practised deficits-focused discourse of taking a psychiatric history systematically identifies all the deficient, inexplicable, different and abnormal qualities and experiences of the person. The climax of depicting that up close, in fact, no one is normal and therefore the elicit discourse used by professionals is motivating the isolation of the negative stigma of mental health. Conclusively it would be more productive to focus on a persons goals and desires for their own life rather than what the professional thinks is in the person’s best interests and what the person cannot do.

The contrast from the pure form of mental health, particularly with the affiliation of mental well-being is passionately igniting for all! The affect in which the opinions and sheer realities of the implication of mental health is perfectly executed within the two scholarly articles, energising a state of productivity and purpose as not only an individual whom wants to selfishly indulge in her own happiness but for her environment to thrive also.

Slade, Mike. 2010, Mental Illness and well-being: the central importance of positive psychology and recovery approaches, BMC Health Services  Research, London, viewed 3 August 2016 <

Bruce, G. 1999, American Journal of Public Health: Public Conceptions of Mental Illness: Labels, Causes, Dangerousness, and Social Distance, New York, New York Press

Manderscheid, R. 2009, Evolving Definitions of Mental Illness and Wellness, Public Health Research, viewed 1 August 2016 <

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