One of the most important aims of education is to help the individual in making adjustment with the changing environment. It is the mental health which helps the person to adjust in the environment.
Mental health stands for the health of the mind Carter V. Good in the Dictionary of Education (1959 P. 263) has termed it as.
“The wholesomeness of the mind.”
It is a state or condition on which an individual feels a sense of well being. This condition also provides an individual the capacity to be resilient to the stresses her / meets and to respond to these challenges without having to compromise his well being. This also makes him productive and fruitful for himself and his community.
WHO defines mental health as – A state of complete physical, mental and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity (2001).
Definition – A state of emotional and psychological well being in which an individual is able to use his or her cognitive and emotional capabilities function in society, and meet the ordinary demands of every day life.
Characteristics of mental health:
1. Nothing called perfect mental health – No person is with perfect mental health rather it is optimum mental health.
2. Mental health is a dynamic concept: Mental health denotes a state of balance or equilibrium of our mind, this balance is not static, it is quite dynamic.
3. Mental health can‘t be achieved without physical health. For achieving an optimal level of mental health one has to first acquire adequate physical health.
4. Mental health and efficiency are not the same thing – One may be quite efficient and successful at his work or profession but he could be most unhappy, full of anxiety etc.
5. Mental health and social ability are not the same thing- A mentally healthy person is sociable. It is not necessary for a sociable or socially adaptable person to be healthy minded.
6. Mental health differs from ethical standards – Morality does not guarantee mental health.
Importance of Mental Health-
Mental health has much wider scope than physical health as it aims for the development of wholesome balanced and integrated personality.
Mental health is very important because of following things:
1. Helps in the development of desirable personality – Mental health helps in the development of a wholesome, well-balanced and integrated personality.
2. Helps in proper emotional development – The individuals who enjoy good mental health are supposed to demonstrate proper emotional maturity in their behaviour. On the other side, those who are tense, disintegrated and mentally unhealthy demonstrate sudden emotional outburst.
3. Helps in proper social development- One‘s mental health helps one in becoming sociable and establishing proper social relationships in the society.
4. Helps in proper moral development – The individuals who enjoy sound mental health are usually found to behave as men of integrity and character by following the ethical standards of the society.
5. Helps in proper aesthetic development – Proper mental health helps the individual in the development of appropriate aesthetic sense, artistic taste and refined temperament.
6. Helps in seeking proper adjustment – A mentally healthy individual is an adjusted person. He is able to adjust his needs as per the demands of the situation and well being of the society.
7. Helps in seeking goals of life – Optimum mental health always helps the individuals to divert his energies in full capacity for the realization of the goals.
8. Helps in progress of the society – Mental health helps the individual to develop as well balanced useful citizens who are conscious not only of their rights but also of their responsibilities.
9. Helps in prevention of mental illness – A sound mental health and balanced personality has enough resistance to fight against the odds of life and bear the accidental stresses and strains of life in comparison to those with impaired mental health.