Mental Health Indicators
In the health care and public health arena, more emphasis and resources have been devoted to screening, diagnosis, and treatment of mental illness than mental health. Little has been done to protect the mental health of those free of mental illness. Researchers suggest that there are indicators of mental health, representing three domains.6-8 These include the following:
- Emotional well-being
- such as perceived life satisfaction, happiness, cheerfulness, peacefulness.
- Psychological well-being
- such as self-acceptance, personal growth including openness to new experiences, optimism, hopefulness, purpose in life, control of one’s environment, spirituality, self-direction, and positive relationships.
- Social well-being
- social acceptance, beliefs in the potential of people and society as a whole, personal self-worth and usefulness to society, sense of community.
The former surgeon general notes that there are social determinants of mental health as there are social determinants of general health that need to be in place to support mental health. These include adequate housing, safe neighborhoods, equitable jobs and wages, quality education, and equity in access to quality health care.
Learn more details on mental health promotion.