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Provide a Broad Conceptualisation of Mental Health and the Role of Protective and Risk Factors In Mental Health and Wellbeing.

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QUESTION 1: PROVIDE A BROAD CONCEPTUALISATION OF MENTAL HEALTH AND THE ROLE OF PROTECTIVE AND RISK FACTORS IN MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLBEING Providing a definition of mental health proves to be difficult, especially within a cross-cultural perspective. However, generally is agreed that mental health is broader than a lack of mental health. According to the World Report (1995), "Mental health is not simply the absence of mental disease, but a state of well-being in which the individual realises his/her own abilities, can work productively and fruitfully to contribute to his/her community." Concepts of mental health include subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualisation of one's intellectual and emotional potential. Today it is recognised that mental health is influenced by a combination of biological, psychological, and social factors. ...read more.


Individual protective factors include an easy temperament, flexibility, a sense of humour, and spirituality. Family bonds also play a role, with positive family bonds, the mother's personality, positive discipline and a nurturing environment acting as protective factors. Protective community factors include a good school, positive role models, social cohesion, and a political stability. Community psychology emphasises the need to be proactive and to promote wellness. Wellness anchors the one end of the hypothetical mental health continuum, and pathology the other. Wellness has three positive features, namely behavioural markers (eg. Sleeping well), psychological markers (eg. Satisfaction with oneself and one's existence) and psychological markers. There are 5 main pathways to wellness, forming wholesome early attachments is the first. Here the relationship with the primary caregiver is of great importance. ...read more.


People can cope better with stress when they perceive themselves as having an internal locus of control. Sound attachment and competence helps one to cope with diverse stressors, and the successful resolution of stress leads to more effective strategies in the future. There also exist risk factors which occur when the individual develops negative outcomes to the factors mentioned above. Some risks are static (eg. Family history), while others (eg. Bullying) are modifiable with the help of strategic interventions. Some risk factors are continuous, and others are once off, and there also exists cumulative factors. The developmental stages of risk factors differ. Risk factors occur within the individual (eg. Younger people and women are at a higher risk), the family (eg. Paternal criminality and maternal mental disorders), and the environment (eg. Lack of education, poverty, and pollution). Protective and risk factors determine a person's ability to adapt/withstand/adjust to negative stressors. ...read more.

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