What is mental health and why is it important?

According to the definition of WHO (World Health Organization), mental health is more than just talking about the absence of mental disorders or diseases. Mental health is complete physical, psychological, emotional and social well-being.

Mental health can affect our physical health, daily life and social relationships.

This health affects the way we think, feel and behave. It also helps determine how to manage stress, relate to others, and make healthy choices.

Mental health is also important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence to adulthood. So good mental health is a cornerstone for leading a happy and healthy society.

Where to get help if you or anyone you know needs help?

What are the factors affecting mental health?

Numerous social, psychological and biological factors determine the level of mental health of a person at any point in time. It can be said that factors affecting mental health are divided into two general categories: external factors and individual or internal factors.

External factors include:

  • quantity and the quality of social relationships
  • economic prosperity
  • social and civil liberties
  • social justice
  • political-social stability and security.

Internal factors include:

  • genetics
  • biological factors (hormonal changes or some medical conditions)
  • healthy lifestyle
  • creativity and higher levels of productivity
  • personality factors (self-belief and self-awareness and strengthening self-confidence).

What is Mental illness?

A mental illness includes a wide range of conditions that can significantly affect people’s thoughts, mood, behavior or the way they understand the world around them.

The main categories of mental illness are:

  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Mood Disorders (such as depression or bipolar disorder)
  • Personality disorders
  • Psychotic disorders (such as schizophrenia)
  • Trauma Related Disorders (such as post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Addiction Disorders
  • Eating Disorders
  • Sleep Disorders
  • ADHD

How is mental illness treated?

Fortunately, effective treatment methods are available today and most patients will have the chance to experience good and prosperous lives.

Some treatments are more successful in combination with other methods.

Based on personal differences, type, severity and history of illness, Psychologists and therapists combine elements from different approaches to make individual treatment according to each client’s needs.

The main types of treatment include:

Psychological therapy: Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic therapy, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), supportive therapy, interpersonal therapy and group therapy are some example of different types of psychotherapy).

Medicines: Although medications cannot completely cure mental disorders, some of these medications can improve symptoms and help a person maintain social interactions and routines while working on their mental health. Antidepressants for anxiety or depression, mood stabilizers for bipolar disorder, and antipsychotic for schizophrenia or psychosis are most common drugs.

Lifestyle changes: Enough sleep, Healthy diet and good nutrition., Exercise and movement, Avoiding drugs and alcohol abuse

Complementary therapies: Relaxation strategies, Meditation or mindfulness)


At Fitzroy North Doctors, we understand that mental health is just as important as physical health. That’s why we offer a range of mental health services to help you take care of your emotional and psychological well-being.

Our experienced general practitioners are expert in Mental Health Care Plan that will entitles you to rebates for up to 20 counselling sessions a year.

If you need help with any mental health difficulties or need to get a specialist referral, look your GP to start. please book online or contact us at (03) 94 81 00 00 to schedule an appointment.