What is mental health?


Mental health is something we all talk about, but it can be something we’re unsure about. It refers to the state of an individual’s emotional, psychological, and social wellbeing. It is an essential component of overall health and impacts a person’s thoughts, feelings, and actions. 

The World Health Organization says that mental health is not just the absence of mental illness but is also about a state of wellbeing that helps an individual thrive – and this is certainly an approach we take at Wysa. It involves the ability to cope with stress, maintain healthy relationships, and make positive life choices. Looking after our psychological health means finding healthy ways to manage emotions, thoughts, and behaviors, developing resilience to cope with life’s challenges, and recognizing when to seek help. 

Mental health is different from mental illness and varies along a continuum, from optimal mental wellbeing to various degrees of mental health challenges or disorders. Every single one of us has a different experience of mental health and it can change over time.

Who struggles with mental health?

All Worked Up showed that 1 in 3 employees have clinical anxiety or depression and the Employee Mental Health Report revealed that 32% of employees expressed feeling low, bad, numb, depressed, and sad throughout the day and 75% of employees reported low to moderate energy on average throughout the day. High demands, long hours, challenges with work-life balance after Covid-19 and job insecurity due to the current landscape are all contributing to an increase in work-related mental health problems.

Mental health problems are also on the rise among young people, with factors such as social media, academic pressure, and economic uncertainty all having an impact. Early intervention and prevention strategies that meet people where they are crucial for improving mental health outcomes for young people. The Wysa UK Youth Report demonstrates that 78% of young people would rather speak to an app than their teacher, as the current solutions just aren’t working.

Traditional mental health care systems are struggling to meet the rising demand, despite a real commitment to doing so, paving the way for digital solutions like teletherapy and mental health apps. These innovative approaches can increase access to mental health care and complement existing services, but they must be carefully integrated into the broader mental health system to ensure quality and effectiveness. Wysa is working closely with the NHS as we move towards more customised solutions.

It’s not static and can change. Mental health is dynamic, and our sense of wellbeing can shift or alter on a daily basis, influenced by our situations and our own psychological make-up. Genetics, brain chemistry, personal experiences, and environmental factors all play a role in shaping mental health, making it complex and multifaceted. But by taking a focused approach to wellbeing and putting in place things that make us feel good, as well as using interventions like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which can help change unhelpful thought patterns and behaviours, we can all improve our wellbeing. Lifestyle choices, social support, and professional help can all contribute to improving our mental health over time.

Unfortunately, stigma still prevails. 29% of people surveyed in All Worked Up said they were too embarrassed to seek help. We need to encourage open conversations about mental health and make it clear that taking care of our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health.

What are the signs to look out for?

It’s important to know what ‘normal’ looks like for each of us individually, and seek help when there are changes in our mental wellbeing . Shifts in mood or sudden disinterest in activities that were once enjoyable could be indicative of an underlying mental health issue.

Persistent feelings of sadness, and irritability may signal the need for professional help. Some people find that they are struggling to maintain daily routines, work, or relationships due to mental health issues, which can be a warning sign that professional support may be necessary. Mental health can also affect our physical health, and we may find ourselves experiencing unexplained physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, or fatigue. It’s always worth thinking about the bigger picture.

Each mental illness has a different profile of symptoms. Although individuals know themselves best, it’s essential to get professional help when symptoms start to affect life on a regular basis. It is crucial that any thoughts or behaviors related to self-harm or suicide are taken seriously and immediate professional attention sought. Wysa’s SOS function and escalation pathways enable help to be sought and actioned fast. 

How can Wysa help?

Wysa is an emotionally intelligent chatbot that uses AI to understand and react to the emotions and worries you share. You can vent and talk through things or just reflect on your day; practice CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques to build resilience in an engaging way; deal with loss, worries, or conflict, using conversational tools; and relax, focus and sleep peacefully with the help of mindfulness exercises.

Wysa is empathetic, helpful, and will never judge. Your identity will remain anonymous and your conversations are privacy protected.

Wysa is used by more than 5 million people from all walks of life. Research-backed, widely used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques, mindfulness, and meditation exercises support you with depression, stress, anxiety, sleep and a whole range of other mental health and wellness needs.

Download Wysa today.

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