Health is a condition where physical, mental and emotional well being is absent. It may be manifested in various ways but it is something that everyone experiences in some form or another. A number of definitions have also been used over the years for different medical purposes. The dictionary defines health as having well being.
Being mentally healthy has become an increasingly important concern in the modern world. Today, people want to lead healthy lifestyles and lead healthy lives. Mental wellness has become an important aspect of this global change. The challenge lies in creating positive mental health programmes and maintaining them in the face of constant changes in determinants for ill health. The World Health Organization defines mental well-being as, “a state of psychological well-being that includes aspects of physical and social adjustment, emotional well-being and quality of life”.
The state of good health depends on healthy habits and behaviours. These habits and behaviours are influenced by the individual and are influenced by the environment. Illness is defined by the National Institute of Health as the prevention of death due to any ailment, illness or disease. This is the prime definition of good health that has been called the ideal target of every individual. It can be considered as the ideal goal to prevent illness, but the challenge is in achieving it.
What are the determinants for a good health status? Environmental factors, personal attitudes and behaviour, medical care and interventions all contribute to good health. An individual’s environment plays a significant role in the development of chronic diseases. These can be caused by, among other things, poor diet, exposure to toxins and air pollution. The existence and levels of each of these environmental factors vary from place to place.
In order to achieve good health, all these factors have to be managed effectively. The determinants for a healthy lifestyle include physical activity and regular social interaction. Mental health also requires addressing one’s mental health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety. The quality of relationships one has with others also contributes significantly to one’s physical and mental well being.
The most critical factor that impacts the determinants for a healthy human health is the quality of the public health system. The ability of the public health system to deal with an emerging public health problem determines the level of public concern and the ability of the system to control the spread of communicable diseases. For this reason, diseases that originate inside a single community have to be addressed on an inter-organizational level. The challenge faced by communicable diseases is to contain their emergence before they take over the whole society and lead to a catastrophic loss of human health.