'Health' is often misunderstood as only comprising physical health. However, as the WHO Mental health defines it: 'Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity'.
Mental health concerns emotional, psychological as well as social well-being. It thus refers to a range of states, feelings and behaviours. That is why using this umbrella term can be sensitive and should be done with care.
Mental health is a vital and integral part of overall health and is essential to healthy human functioning. Mental and physical health are intimately related. Access to mental health care is a human right and enables citizens to enjoy well-being, quality of life and health (EU 2008). Mental health promotes learning, working and participation in society. Well-being integrates mental health (mind) and physical health (body) resulting in more holistic approaches to disease prevention and health promotion (CDC). Having a low level of well-being however is not the same as having a mental illness and it is possible to experience flourishing or moderate levels of mental well-being, despite experiencing symptoms of mental ill-health.
Mental health is a growing public health concern due to the impact it has on those living with mental health difficulties, their relatives and the overall society. Mental health is also an important and growing cause of disability in many European countries and it has become a specific point of attention for EPR and its members.
EPR members have engaged into the development of expertise and approaches exploring what works in the field of mental health promotion, recovery and well-being. Through the sharing of knowledge, practices and experiences, EPR members are constantly improving their services to offer quality support to people with mental health conditions to live their lives to the full.