Understanding the Issues

Mental Health and Wellbeing

The United Nations World Health Organisation defines mental health and wellbeing as a state in which every individual can realise his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and can contribute to his or her community. This definition is used by many government agencies and community sector organisations both in Australia and overseas.
 
In brief, mental health is a state of emotional wellbeing in which an individual can use their thinking and feeling abilities, relate well to other people and meet the ordinary demands of everyday life (Australian Public Service Commission). 
 
More than just an absence of disease and illness or an absence of psychological risks from work, it describes a consistent state of overall wellness and contentment. 
 
A mentally healthy workplace promotes a positive and respectful workplace culture, provides activities that strengthen mental and physical health, minimises workplace risks related to psychological injury, actively supports people with mental health conditions and prevents discrimination, bullying and harassment. (Beyond Blue)
 
An online guide developed by The Australian Human Rights Commission called Workers with Mental Illness: A Practical Guide for Managers (chapter: Understanding Mental Illness) provides plain facts and information about mental health.
 
For more information on mental health and wellbeing visit the MindHealthConnect website and refer to the links and resources provided in this toolkit.
 

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