Preservation of mental health
When we say health, generally we think of physical health. We ignore its essential part - the mental. As the body needs to keep healthy, to develop, to rest, nurture also our psyche need to be nourished, developed, and cured. Mental health is a state of well-being in which a person realizes or uses his/her abilities and potentials, can cope with the stress of everyday life, works productively and contributes to the society.
The protection and preservation of mental health includes all measures and activities aimed to establish and maintain psychological well-being. These measures are related to the promotion and improvement of mental health and prevention that includes early identification, treatment and rehabilitation of mental and behavioral disorders.
Promotion of mental health includes:
- Activities that are associated with a better understanding of mental health and raising awareness of its importance for the overall health and well-being - information and education;
- Understanding the importance of mental health and mental phenomenon / mental disorders, fight stigma and discrimination in the field of mental health;
- Developing actions that promote mental health by strengthening protective factors and reducing/eliminating those factors that disturb health
Prevention of mental disorders includes:
- Primary prevention, aimed at reducing the incidence of mental disorders, i.e. reducing risk factors and strengthening protective factors (especially for vulnerable groups and individuals);
- Secondary prevention, aimed at improving the response to of mental illness, especially early diagnosis and treatment;
- Tertiary prevention , aimed at reducing the consequences of disease and its severity. This is achieved by various kinds of rehabilitation (medical, industrial, social ...) as well as concern for the improvement of quality of life generally.
In all these actions and measures, professionals play an important role, but so do volunteer organizations. They are easier to reach out to because they provide the possibility of remaining anonymous and guarantee confidentiality; because they are not burdened with long and complicated medical procedures, and for many other reasons. Help given by volunteers can not replace the role of professional help, but it can help in times of crisis when and adequate supporting environment is lacking.