and mental health are closely connected. Mental health plays an important
role in both the way people behave and the way they feel. Emotionally
healthy individuals accept themselves as they are with all their
weaknesses as well as their strengths. They remain in contact with
reality, and they are able to deal with stress and frustration. They also
act independently of outside influences and show genuine concern for other
1. Emotionally Development.
childhood strongly influence a person's mental health throughout life. An
infant is completely helpless at birth and must depend on its parents for
all its needs. Children remain dependant for many years, but they slowly
mature and learn to do things for themselves. They make many mistakes
during this long period of maturation. Through these errors, they learn
certain guidelines for relating to other people. Children thus develop
the knowledge necessary to deal with difficult situations in life. This
knowledge helps them maintain good mental health throughout life.
development does not end when a person reaches adulthood. Similarly, an
individual's mental health continues to change from time from time. These
changes result from daily circumstances that cause either pleasure or pain
for the person.
2. Handling Stress
Handling stress is
essential for avoiding both mental and physical illness. Feelings of
stress are the body's response to any threatening or unfamiliar situation.
Most severe stress results from such serious events as a divorce or loss
of job. However, stress can occur even in pleasant situations, such as
watching a football game or waiting for a loved one to return from a trip.
If not handled properly, stress can lead to physical or emotional illness.
It may produce only mild symptoms, such as a cough, a headache, or a
rash. But severe and prolonged stress can contribute to serious health
problems, including high blood pressure and stomach ulcers.
No one can avoid
stress, but a person can do certain things to help lessen the danger of
becoming ill from it
and sufficient sleep strengthens the body's resistance to stress.
Everyone should learn to relax by resting, taking a walk, and meditating.
One should also consider working with a hobby, or by any other method that
he or she finds successful. When serious stress occurs, a person should
determine the source of the stress and try to eliminate or diminish it.
Discussing a problem with a friend, relative, or some other person may
also help relieve stress.
relationships have an important influence on mental health. Close personal
relationship with friends and relatives provides opportunities for
communication, sharing, and emotional growth. Such relationships also can
provide strength and support for dealing with challenging situations or
entire social environment also affects his or her mental health.
Such social problems as poverty, racism, and overcrowding contribute
to situations that influence emotional health. As a result, social and
economic changes are needed to help reduce the rate of some types of
The nature of
health problems in the United States and Canada has changed dramatically
during the 1900's. Until then, most people died from infectious diseases,
such as diphtheria or pneumonia. Today, however, infectious diseases are
no longer the main killers in the United States, Canada, and other
industrialized countries. Improved sanitation, immunization programs, and
the development of antibiotic drugs have brought these diseases under
control. Today, health specialists are concerned chiefly with diseases
related to the aging process, unhealthy lifestyles, and environmental
Alcohol, and Drug Abuse.
the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS], cigarette smoking
is the principle cause of unnecessary and preventable illness and early
death. Heart disease and Lung cancer and other lungs diseases occur at a
much higher rate among smokers than among nonsmokers. Many individuals use
various drugs in an effort to solve their problems or to improve their
alertness, mood, or self-confidence. However, the regular use of alcohol,
narcotics, or sedatives can lead to addiction and also serious damage to
People may become
psychologically dependent on a wide variety of other drugs, including
amphetamines, cocaine, lsd, marijuana, and tranquilizers. These
individuals may harm themselves further by neglecting their health and
nutrition. In addition, drugs can distort a person's judgment and so
increase the risk of accidents.
Alcohol is the
most widely abused drug in the U.S.A. A person who drinks a lot and
decides to give up drinking can return to a healthy, productive, life.
Environmental Health Hazards
health hazards cause by modern technology can produce serious problems.
Air pollution can worsen the condition of people who suffer such
respiratory disease as asthma and bronchitis. It may even help cause
health hazards in some areas, such as; insecticides and industrial waste
contaminate food and water supplies. Excessive noise can also threaten
people's health. Noise from airplanes, construction projects, and
industrial plants can cause hearing loss as well as emotional damage.
Occupational Health Hazards
health hazards can threaten the health of many workers. In some cases,
substances involved in a person's job may cause long-term damage that
appears only after many years. For example, many coal miners develop a
lung disease called [pneumoconiosis], or black lung, from inhaling coal
dust. Dust also causes lung diseases among workers in the asbestos and
cotton industries. Some industrial chemicals can also causes cancer.
includes all actions taken to maintain and improve the general health of a
community. Government health programs provide most public health services.
In addition, many voluntary health agencies receive contributions to
combat specific diseases, such as cancer and lung diseases. These agencies
provide medical services, campaign for health legislation, and make
important contributions to health education. Another important function of
public health agencies is to provide health education to individuals,
groups, and organizations.