The Importance of Mental Health

What is mental health, and why is it important? Your mental health is your emotional and mental state of well-being, and it plays a large role in your overall health. Just like your physical health, it is something you need to actively work at to keep healthy. The benefits of taking care of your mental health include improved moods, increased self-esteem, clearer thinking, and many more.

What can impact your mental health?

Factors outside of your control, such events and people, might impact your mental health in either positive or negative ways. Sometimes, your disability can cause you even more stress, making it difficult to take care of your mental health. Also, people in some societies view mental health issues as less important than physical health, but this is untrue. Both are very important, and addressing your mental health issues is a sign of strength. There are many things you can and should do to improve your mental health. This will require you to actively work on improving your mental health, but a healthy mind will ultimately help you to deal with stresses in your life. 

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The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of well-being where you realize your own abilities, are able to cope with stress, and are able to work productively in order to contribute to your community.

Mental Health in Africa

Sangu Delle is an entrepreneur and clean water activist from Ghana. In this video, he talks about the ways his stress negatively impacted his mental health, and how he initially refused to seek help. He struggled with expectations from his society on what it means to be masculine, and thought that asking for help could make him seem weak. He says there is a stigma within his society and many others which prevents people from seeking help or taking action. 

“All of us -- but we Africans especially -- need to realize that our mental struggles do not detract from our virility, nor does our trauma taint our strength. We need to see mental health as important as physical health. We need to stop suffering in silence. We must stop stigmatizing disease and traumatizing the afflicted.” 

Watch this video to hear Sangu’s entire speech on mental health, called “There is no shame in taking care of your mental health.” He explains how taking action helped him, and how it can help many others. 

https://www.ted.com/talks/sangu_delle_there_s_no_shame_in_taking_care_of_your_mental_health/transcript?utm_campaign=tedspread&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=tedcomshare

More information on mental health:

 World Health Organisation


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