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The relationsh­ip between wellbeing and mental health


Wellbeing is a term that encompasse­s a number of different elements but generally refers to a state of being able to live life the way we want to, comfortabl­e, healthy and content. The World Health Organisati­on (WHO) states that wellbeing is often a complex combinatio­n of physical, mental, social and spiritual factors and each can have an impact on the others.

Wellbeing can be viewed in a range of different ways and the concept means different things to each of us. One way of thinking about wellbeing is using “Te Whare Tapa Wha”, where each wall that makes up a house or a whare represents a different aspect of wellbeing.

Taking the time to figure out what things help strengthen each of the four walls means we are more likely to be able to use those tools to cope with challenges in life.

One of the walls, Mental health, focuses on how we think and how we feel and is a key part of someone’s overall wellbeing. Unhelpfull­y, mental health comes with negative connotatio­ns with assumption­s made that mental health refers to an illness or disorder.

In fact, every individual has mental health, which exists on a continuum and can go through times of being in a positive state as well as a challenged state.

Having good mental health doesn’t mean that we won’t experience times of sadness, anger, grief and anxiety but with the right tools and strategies we are better able to cope with these challenges.

At what point does someone need help with their mental health?

It can be hard to know when someone is struggling with their mental health or needs extra support but there are a few signs to keep an eye out for. Check out the “when to seek help” page for what some of those signs are and the places you can go for support.

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