HLTHAGE 2G03 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Group Cohesiveness, Environmental Health, Play Therapy

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Lecture 1
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Why “Mental” Health?
Line between physical and mental not as clear as dualists would assume, e.g. cause,
experience, symptom expression.
Heart rate, respiration, nervous system may all reflect mental phenomena.
Despite the links between body and mind, physical state cannot necessarily give an indication
of mental health.
Whether tense shoulders or shortness of breath, myriad explanations.!
Thus, mental health is almost entirely self reported – great importance of self perception.
When we say “mental health,” we’re referring to feelings, thoughts, cognition, and self-
concept.
What Does Good Mental Health Mean? No generally accepted definition – contested.
Minimalist: absence of mental disorders. Broader considerations:!
The ability to get on in every day life!
The ability to connect with other people!
The ability to enjoy oneself!
The ability to handle stress, discomfort, and change The ability to pursue goals and
interests!
Sense of psychological and emotional wellbeing!
Sense of capability!
Flexibility
Thus, mental health is not entirely personal – linked to others. We must consider mental
health in a social context. !
Ways of Thinking about Poor Mental Health
Distress model (dimensional)
Mental illnesses do not exist as independent entities, rather, all people score on a continuum
of psychological distress.
Sensations such as sadness, worry, hostility, anger, frustration, tension, loneliness, mistrust
are part of everyday life.
Those who experience substantial amounts of these negative phenomena may be considered
unwell or distressed, but “disease” may be a misnomer.
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Document Summary

Thus, mental health is not entirely personal linked to others. We must consider mental health in a social context. What de nes poor mental health is just as contested as good mental health. The of cial list of mental disorders -> gateway to treatment. Produced by the apa, disorders drawn up on by committees. Even more severe experiences, like psychosis, are not entirely atypical. Criticisms: lacks validity, reduces highly personal experience to simple checklist. Measures whether a person matches particular types of disorder, does little to consider broader notion of mental health. How a diagnosis is formed: diagnosis a result of interview more so than physical exam. Includes history taking and record of person"s current psychopathology. Observations of friends and family can gure into equation. Results checked against dsm criteria, use of scales, clinical experience, etc. What emerges is not objective fact, but rather an interpretation grounded in value judgments.

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