Health is a condition of mental, physical and emotional well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. It is a state where the body and mind are in good condition. It means you have enough energy, concentration, strength, and courage to face the different challenges in life and to carry on with the normal functions of your body. To live healthily is to enjoy life to the fullest and be at peace with yourself. It does not only involve physical health but also includes mental, social, and spiritual health.
This article is a reflection of the need for health services by organizations. It defines health as the capacity to enjoy life to its fullest and this entails coping with the effects of illness, preventing or eliminating disability, maintaining health, aging, improving performance, managing stress, managing pain, improving nutrition and fitness, and managing the quality of life. These and many other factors contribute to achieving holistic wellbeing. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights calls for us to take an active part in maintaining the dignity and quality of life for all. This includes health and all the aspects that go with it.
Health professionals must define health seriously and must work towards prevention through a multifaceted approach. Prevention implies early identification, appropriate treatment, and comprehensive care. Treatment is aimed at reducing the severity and frequency of complications associated with multiple diseases. Public health and medical research must address prevention as a priority since the major preventable causes of death are poor diet, exposure to toxic substances, and lack of exercise.
In spite of the fact that the universal definition of wellbeing has been agreed upon by all members of the international community, there is still a lot of debate over what constitutes a happy and healthy life. There is debate on the definition of mental health and wellness, which is largely influenced by the perspectives of public health and medical models. The perspective of public health focuses on the needs of the individual in the context of his or her environment and the community. On the other hand, medical models generally focus on illness as a result of the body’s inability to respond to injury or infection.
There is considerable scope for improvement across the health spectrum. Improvements in the quality of life for all can be made by adopting different policy stances. The promotion of preventive measures is an important factor in improving public health. Healthy diets, regular exercise, and reduced exposure to toxins and other environmental agents can all contribute to a healthy state of mind and physical health. Similarly, the provision of appropriate public health services is an essential factor in ensuring the well-being of the population as a whole.
There is a great deal of debate on the definition of “wellness”. Several alternative definitions have also come into existence, such as: the balanced scorecard approach, which suggest that mental health and wellbeing depend on several factors, including the level of perceived control over illness; the social support network resources available to the person, and environmental context (such as poverty and physical hazards). Another alternative definition often mentioned is the well-being paradox, which suggests that while some people may perceive their lives to be unhealthy, they actually do not suffer from worse health conditions or worse indicators of poor health. The main problem with the above definitions is that they do not incorporate the aspects related to emotional wellness and mental health, which are crucial to achieving overall wellness. Therefore, it is useful to look at the interdependence of the public mental health services and wellbeing services.