Mental health encompasses our emotional, social, psychological, and spiritual well-being. It impacts every stage in life effecting how we feel, think, and behave or respond. It helps us to respond to stress, make decisions, and relate to others. Good mental health is the ability to effectively manage daily living tasks and stressors, know and understand your abilities, and be productive not only in your own life, but in the lives of those around you. This definition could vary from culture to culture based on whether they are individualistic in their views or more universal. Are they a culture that values the needs of the individual to be an independent in society or are they a culture that values the needs of the community and the individual is just part of a larger existence?
As for my own culture one of the most influential aspects in defining mental health is one’s connectedness with a higher universal power, whether that be God, Allah, Jesus, the force, et cetera… I find having a connectedness to a power greater than oneself is a gateway to the openness and understanding of you place in the universal existence. With that said it is understandable that there are other cultures that would not feel the say about needed to be connected to a higher power to establish good mental health. Another assumption is that “your feelings and perceptions” matter. In many cultures looking at the individual is not the way things are done, accepted, or understood. “To know thyself” might be the way to be exiled in some cultures as it is not seen as necessary for the common good of the whole.