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Mental Health Ireland


Mental Health

Mental Health is not just the absence of mental illness. It is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realises 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 his or her community

Mental Health is about :

  • How we feel about ourselves
  • How we feel about others
  • How we are able to meet the demands of life


There may be some confusion in people’s minds as to the difference between mental ill health and mental illness.

Mental ill health refers to the kind of general mental health problems we can all experience in certain stressful circumstances; for example, work pressures can cause us to experience:

  • poor concentration
  • mood swings and
  • sleep disturbance

Such problems are usually of temporary nature, are relative to the demands a particular situation makes on us and generally respond to support and reassurance.


All of us suffer from mental health problems at times, and such temporary problems do not necessarily lead to mental illness. However, being mentally unhealthy limits our potential as human beings and may lead to more serious problems.


Mental illness can be defined as the experiencing of severe and distressing psychological symptoms to the extent that normal functioning is seriously impaired.


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