URL of this page: https://medlineplus.gov/mentalhealth.html

Mental Health

Summary

What is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act as we cope with life. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

What are mental illnesses?

Mental illnesses are serious disorders which can affect your thinking, mood, and behavior. They may be occasional or long-lasting. They can affect your ability to relate to others and function each day. Mental disorders are common; more than half of all Americans will be diagnosed with a mental disorder at some time in their life. But there are treatments. People with mental health problems can get better, and many of them recover completely.

Why is mental health important?

Mental health is important because it can help you to

  • Cope with the stresses of life
  • Be physically healthy
  • Have good relationships
  • Make meaningful contributions to your community
  • Work productively
  • Realize your full potential

How can I improve my mental health?

There are steps you can take to help you improve your mental health. They include

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Diagnosis and Tests

Treatments and Therapies

Related Issues

Specifics

Statistics and Research

Clinical Trials

Children

Teenagers

Women

Patient Handouts