Wellbeing, or positive mental health, improves the quality of our lives in ways including better physical health; faster recovery from illness; fewer limitations in daily life; higher educational attainment; greater likelihood of employment and earnings; and better relationships.
Why mental health is important
- Our population is changing: The most dramatic change will be in the ageing population, with the proportion of those over 85 years old expected to rise by over 40%. Such a significant demographic shift has implications for our society.
- We can reduce risks to our mental health by
- Rethinking our relationship with alcohol
- Addressing financial difficulties
- Supporting parents
- We can promote wellbeing by:
- Creating healthy environments
- Being physically active
- Getting into arts and culture
- Public sector agencies need to widen awareness of mental health issues. We need to better understand what promotes resilience in coping with life’s difficulties as well as to enable access to quality services.
- The determinants of mental health problems are wide-ranging and include influences at all stages and aspects of life such as early life, environment, employability, income, relationships and lifestyle. Mental health improvement needs to be included in all plans, strategies, policies and service designs, to understand and account for the needs of all age groups within the population, and to recognise the influence of inequalities.
- We need to ensure that public policies, spending decisions and service design promote good mental health in the population and address inequalities in mental health.
- We need to promote the value of positive environments and of activities and experiences that can promote good mental health and wellbeing, such as arts and culture and physical activity.
- We need a much stronger focus and leadership to get our population more physically active. Even in times of austerity, we must continue to advocate active transport, cycle lanes, walking groups, good signage, cycle lane schemes and cycling proficiency in schools.
Our vision for a mentally healthy Glasgow and Clyde
Councillor Gordon Matheson, Leader of Glasgow City Council
“All of the council family are acutely aware of the scourge of unemployment and the consequences of poverty, discrimination and worklessness on the mental health and well-being of our citizens.”
Carol Craig, Director, Centre for Confidence and Wellbeing
“Many folk in Glasgow spend five or more hours a day watching television – particularly commercial channels. Of course, watching television can be entertaining, relaxing and informative. The problem occurs when people devote so many hours a day to their viewing habit that they have little time, energy and motivation left to pursue those things in life which really contribute to mental flourishing. As viewers are unlikely to be given this message from television itself, it is an important one for the health community to publicise. Even encouraging people to switch off for an hour or so a day may make a difference to their lives.”
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