Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual realises his or her own potential, develops a sense of purpose or meaning, can cope with the normal stresses of life, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community. Our mental health influences how we think, feel, relate and interact with others. Our ability to enjoy life, to work gainfully, to love and to be loved are often predisposed by our physical and mental health.
Mental health is influenced by a variety of social, psychological, and biological factors. Factors such as poverty and low levels of education are recognised risks to mental health for individuals and communities.
Poor mental health can also be associated with rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, incarceration, violence and physical illness.
Some people may have specific psychological or personality factors that make them more vulnerable to mental disorders. There may also be individuals with biological or genetic vulnerabilities that lead to imbalances in chemicals in the brain. The exact cause of many psychiatric disorders is not known so a good strategy is to minimise the factors that are known risks and maximise the factors that increase our well-being and resilience.
Are you supporting someone living with mental illness to quit smoking?
Carers can be an important source of support and motivation for a person who is trying to quit smoking.
The free Quit Because You Care booklet is designed for Carers. It provides information and practical tips on how to support someone living with mental illness to quit smoking, and is available is Arabic, Vietnamese and Chinese.
If the person you care for is thinking about quitting and interested in your support, the Quit Because You Care booklet can help you understand what kinds of help work best for people with mental illness and how to reduce you and your family's exposure to second-hand smoke.
For more information on smoking cessation, please go to the NSW Health website.