Mental health is not just the absence of mental disorder. It can
be defined as a state of well-being in which every individual
realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal
stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able
to make a contribution to her or his community.
The 2006 New Zealand Mental Health Survey identified that almost
half of New Zealanders will experience a mental illness at some
time in their lives. One in five people will be affected
within any one year. Mental illness not only has a huge toll
on the individual but also their families, wider society and the
economy. Ensuring a focus on wellbeing is important as there
is much research that looks at the importance of positive mental
health as a positive contributor to society and the economy.
A recent report in the UK identifies good mental health as
the foundation for well-being and the effective functioning of
individuals and communities; it suggests that there is no health
without mental health.
full issue summary on mental health and wellbeing [PDF].