Mental Health and physical health are interlinked, with people with mental illness experiencing higher rates of morbidity and a lower life expectancy, and people with chronic physical health problems more likely to experience mental health problems. Giving equal value to mental and physical health is a key national and local priority and is described as 'Parity of Esteem'.
Mental health problems impact on individuals, families, communities and society as a whole with immense social and financial costs as well as high levels of stigma. The influences on mental health are wide ranging and interacting. Often they occur following adverse events in our lives, and other circumstances, such as poverty, unemployment, levels of supportive networks, levels of education and the broader social environment interact and affect how resilient we are in coping with these challenges.
There are many aspects that contribute to positive mental health and wellbeing including positive early life experiences, good employment, good housing, safe environments, green space, arts and creativity, learning, volunteering and participating in physical activity.