Mental health is a vital part of a person’s overall health and affects how we feel, think and behave. It is also closely linked with physical health. Mental health is not just
the absence of distress or illness, but also includes a sense of well-being and feeling good about oneself, maintaining supportive relationships and feeling that one can be meaningfully productive in the community while being able to cope with the typical stresses in life.
Mental Disorder, is a syndrome characterized by clinically significant disturbances in an individual’s cognitive, emotion regulation, or behaviour; reflects dysfunction in psychological, biological or developmental processes underlying mental functioning. Mental disorders are usually associated with significant distress or disability in social, occupational or other important activities.
Depression is a common mental disorder, involving persistent sadness or loss of interest or pleasure accompanied by several of the following symptoms: disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, feelings of tiredness, poor concentration, difficulties making decisions, agitation or physical restlessness, talking or moving more slowly than normal, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts or acts. A person with depression hasn't considerable difficulty with daily functioning (e.g. at home, school or work).
Feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Self-harm includes any type of intentional injury to one’s own self which may or may not have a fatal intent or outcome. Types of self-harm behaviour may include scratching, cutting or burning oneself. While the intent of these behaviours
may not be to kill oneself, there can still be serious physical and psychological consequences.
Cognitive impairment is defined as a measurable change in cognitive function. It affects the ability to think, concentrate, formulate ideas, reason or remember. It is distinct from a learning disability as it may have been acquired later in life as a result of an accident or illness.
Traumatic experience is usually a sudden event that threatens the life of the person and or lives of their close family/friends. DSM IV is associated with feelings of horror, fear and hopelessness. DSM 5 widened the definition of trauma e.g. to include hearing about a terrible event affecting close family/friends.
Psychological abuse is intentional harm caused by using words (as opposed to physical attack) to hurt, provoke fear, embarrass, offend, threaten or degrade another person; it serves to diminish an individual’s dignity or self worth. Verbal abuse is a form of harassment.
Threat (verbal or written) is a communicated intent to inflict physical or other harm on any person or to property by some unlawful act.
Direct threat is a clear and explicit communication distinctly indicating the potential offender intends to do harm - for example, “I am going to make you pay for what you did to me.”
Conditional threat involves a condition, - for example, “If you don’t leave me alone you will regret it.”
Veiled threats usually involve body language or behaviors that leave little doubt in mind of victim that perpetrator intends harm.
Any actual, attempted or threatened conduct, or natural disaster e.g. earthquake, that causes physical and/or psychological harm, or that gives a person reason to believe that they or another person is at risk of physical or psychological harm. Includes but is not limited to, any actual or attempted assault, including sexual and physical assault, threat, verbal, psychological or sexual abuse and harassment.
Includes incidents of unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, when such conduct might reasonably be expected to cause insecurity, discomfort, offense or humiliation to another person or group. When submission to such conduct is made either implicitly or explicitly as a condition of employment, appointment, approval of privileges, educational/training opportunity, or receipt of services or a contract - such conduct interferes with a person’s ability to work or creates a difficult, intimidating, hostile or offensive home environment.
Sexual assault describes an actual or threatened use of violence to force a person (or child) to engage in sexual conduct such that the sexual integrity of the victim is violated. Examples of sexual assault include, but are not limited to:- any sexualized activity that is known or might reasonably be known to be unwelcome, unwanted, offensive, intimidating, hostile, or otherwise inappropriate.
Aggression resulting in physical assault/abuse, to another, with or without use of a weapon. Examples include: hitting, shoving, pushing, punching, biting, spitting, pinching, or kicking the victim.
Stigma is a negative stereotype or perception that can lead someone to unfairly judge another person and falsely attribute negative characteristics to them. Mental health conditions are often stigmatized, and people with these conditions are sometimes made to feel that their experience is somehow their fault. Stigma can lead to prejudice (negative attitudes) and discrimination (negative behavior) towards people with mental health conditions and their loved ones. These negative processes often contribute to multiple forms of social exclusion and even the loss of full citizenship.
Sadness connected to death of a significant other.
Attack, physical or verbal, at home by a spouse, significant other or relative.
A dispute is another word for disagreement or argument.
Significant life changes with challenges to adapt to new circumstances, which may be accompanied by feelings of depression, anxiety and/or medically unexplained symptoms.
Permission for something to happen or agreement to do something, assuming person has the information and mental capacity to know what they are consenting to and why.
Illness or medical condition that lasts over a long period of time and usually causes long-term changes to the body and/or mind.
A healthy lifestyle means regular exercise, good-quality sleep, a nutritious diet, social connection and stress reduction when needed. It also means avoiding things that negatively affect health and well-being – such as smoking, harmful use of alcohol and other psychoactive substances. A healthy lifestyle is important for all people at all stages of their lives because it helps them to feel strong, to be proactive and to achieve both physical and mental health. A healthy lifestyle can help to reduce the risk of developing many chronic physical and mental health conditions. It also helps manage the symptoms of mental health conditions (for example, regular exercise can improve one’s mood and concentration).
Good mental health is important to everyone. Approximately 280 million people worldwide have depression. Volunteers play a vital role in delivering services to those in need, promoting and raising mental health awareness. #Tanzania.