Health is a condition of mind and physical well-being where infirmity and illness are absent. It includes the entire body, mind and spirit. People are considered to be at high risk for acquiring health conditions if they are obese, smokers, have undernourishment, do not exercise regularly, or are suffering from other disorders or diseases. People with chronic conditions may also be at risk.
The American College of Medical Science has conceptualized the continuum model as a framework that consists of three distinct areas or levels of mental health. These include General Health, which encompass aspects such as well-being; Mental Health, which are concerned with issues like coping with stress, anxiety and panic disorders; and Psychological Health, which are concerned with aspects such as self-esteem, depression, anger management, conflict resolution, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. The model further divides the three into two categories: General Health and Mental Health. There is also a four-category model, which includes General Health and Mental Health, which may be further broken down into Perceptions, Psychosocial Factors and Personal Problems.
The continuum model is highly controversial since it does not lend itself to easy categorization. In addition, some people believe that it fails to provide an adequate representation of the three major dimensions of public mental health. However, recent studies and research point to the fact that there is a remarkable interrelation between the dimensions of general wellbeing and subjective wellbeing. As such, some medical models that rely on the continuum model to explain mental health are seen to offer a better account of the disease process, focusing on the three dimensions of general wellbeing.
Recently, scholars have started looking at the benefits of using the continuum model in explaining mental illness. The reason why this model is used is that it provides a comprehensive understanding of the disease process by simultaneously highlighting the different dimensions of mental illness that need to be addressed. The continuum model is seen to offer a rich insight into the causal relationships between the dimensions of mental health and offers a useful mechanism for describing and predicting complex mental illnesses. By combining the continuum model with other models that relate psychological distress to biological abnormalities – such as biological or genetic disorders – the field has been able to design better methods of treatment, diagnosis and prevention of mental illnesses.
In order to effectively address the challenge of combating mental disorders, it is necessary to take a multi-prong approach that addresses all of the aspects of mental health. This approach is necessary in order to prevent people from falling prey to abusive practices that can lead to degradation of one’s mental health. At the same time, it is important to ensure that people have the resources they need to live a healthy lifestyle, such as routine physical activity, nutritious diet and regular intake of fresh air and exercise. All these aspects are essential for maintaining optimal physical and mental health.
Public health experts agree that promoting healthy lifestyles and proper treatment of mental disorders requires a multi-pronged approach. Achieving this kind of comprehensive strategy requires the cooperation of several stakeholders – health care professionals, family and friends, educators, researchers, government officials, and the community. All of these individuals have a responsibility to ensure that the citizens of a country are not only healthy but are also capable of living with freedom and dignity. For this purpose, the World Health Organization and the United Nations created the World Health Organization’s Mental Health Promotion and Treatment Strategy (MHP). The Multi-country Multicountry Collaborative Research Centre on Mental Health (CMCRM) also contributed to the development of the world health strategy.