What is Mental Health?

The term ‘mental health’ means different things to different people but in essence it’s all about how we think, feel and behave. Good mental health is when people are able to function in society, have fulfilling relationships with other people, cope with change and loss and meet the demands of everyday life. When people experience mental health problems, they often find that they have difficulties in some or all of these areas.

Everyone experiences emotional distress as part of the emotional ups and downs in life and feelings of stress, anxiety or being low at some point are completely normal. Negative thoughts (often as a reaction to negative circumstances or events) during our lives are also normal and very common.

It is when these thoughts and feelings become so frequent and/or severe that they significantly disrupt our ability to cope with life on a daily basis, that they can become mental health problems. As such they can affect our mental and emotional capabilities (and in some cases aspects of our personality), our relationships, work and overall quality of life.

One in four people will experience a diagnosable mental health condition in any given year.

What should I do if I am experiencing mild to moderate mental health difficulties?

If you’re experiencing mild to moderate emotional difficulties, you are not alone so try to remain positive. Mental health problems don’t necessarily mean that your life has to go on hold: people experiencing stress, anxiety or depression often carry on with their work and everyday activities. You may feel up and down, but that’s normal – we all feel like that now and then.

It is however important to recognise when things are getting out of hand. If a problem is beginning to interfere with your ability to manage on a daily basis, then it’s time to do something about it. The earlier you can learn to develop strategies to help yourself, the more likely it is that you will find ways of coping with these difficulties.

SDAC operates a Helpline to help you understand your emotions, thoughts and feelings, and make informed choices to address your mental well-being needs. This is a confidential phoneline, to guide you to self-help resources and local and national services to help with your emotional and mental well-being.

PHONE US ON: 0808 802 5000

Our helpline is open 24 hours, 7 days a week and is free from landlines and mobiles.

SMS TEXT – This service is for the deaf or hard of hearing: 07537 432 411 and is monitored Monday to Friday, 9am to 2pm.