What is mental health? video and transcript

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What is mental health?

This video gives general and practical guidance about mental health and doesn't include targeted or personalised health or medical advice.

What is mental health?


…an eight-year-old asks you this. What would you say? Talking about depression or anxiety won’t work...

 ...those are symptoms of poor mental health.

You could use the World Health Organisation’s definition of good mental health:

A state of wellbeing in which an individual realises their own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to contribute to their community.

Then again, can you imagine an eight-year-old sticking around for all of that?

Perhaps the simplest description is the best. Like...

It’s the way we think and feel, and how that affects the way we live. Because when we understand mental health on a basic level, we’re better equipped to manage it.

After all, poor mental health can be a common part of life.

We’ve all heard that one in four of us will experience poor mental health at some point. But this is just based on the people who’ve spoken up.

Many people hide poor mental health.

Meaning the real number could be much higher.

So, what can we do to help?

Step one is to learn how to spot poor mental health in ourselves and others. And to do this, we need to know the signs. Signs like… A changing mood.

Feeling low, anxious or irritable.

Struggling with everyday things like cooking or washing.

Sleeping less or too much.

Being suspicious, paranoid or withdrawn.

Struggling to concentrate or remember things.

Or suicidal thoughts.


Another way to spot poor mental health is...

...to just trust your gut whenever something seems unusual.

If we look out for signs like these, we can be more prepared for poor mental health in...

...our friends, colleagues, and even ourselves.

Whether we’re eight or eighty.

And if you want to get a more in-depth understanding of mental health, watch the module 2 video on stigma.

If you have questions about a mental health condition, talk to a doctor or qualified mental health care professional.