Health, as defined by the World Health Organization, is ‘a condition of full physical, mental and emotional well-being’. A number of definitions have also been applied for different purposes throughout the history of diagnosis and treatment. Some definitions, such as those used in the psychiatric profession, imply that a mental health condition is entirely independent of a persons genetic and physiological factors and focuses on the dimension of the person’s capacity for happiness, fulfillment, well-being or success. While such a definition is widely used and accepted within the psychiatric community, it may not necessarily be the most appropriate for many individuals or for some situations. As such, a wide range of criteria must be used when assessing individual mental health and the specific needs of people with mental disorders.
According to those who would define the dimension of a person’s health, a high level of emotional wellness has many different facets. In order to assess the level of emotional wellness, several questions may be asked. These questions will determine if a person has high levels of general well-being, low levels of self-esteem, social interaction skills, communication skills, coping skills, positive relationships, avoidance of conflict, life mastery, involvement in meaningful activities, and a sense of humor. All of these dimensions are important components for a healthy emotional well being.
The definition of the dimension of health may also include aspects such as physical health, which includes the ability to lead a normal healthy life, the ability to do regular physical activities, and the ability to maintain appropriate body weight. The dimensions of wellness may also include aspects of the environment, such as cleanliness, good nutrition, appropriate social interaction, safe place to live, support for families, support for peers, educational opportunities, and access to health care. It is important to note that all of these components have different perspectives, and although they work together to create an overall healthy lifestyle, each facet is ultimately independent from the other.