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Does anyone know what mental health is?

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The concept of mental health lives a double life. On the one hand it denotes a state today universally valued. Not simply valued but newly prioritised by governments, hospitals, schools, employers, charities and so on. Expressions such as “mental capital” or “mental wealth of nations” appear in official reports and high profile articles emphasising the importance of public policy aimed directly at enhancing mental health. You’d think that when something is so valuable and so uncontroversially prized, there’d be an accepted definition of it. I am not asking for knowledge of the nature mental health and its causes, just a statement of what counts and doesn’t count as mental health. After all it’s hard to value something when you don’t know what to point at when you name it. And yet when you look closely at the existing efforts to define mental health, all you see is a multitude of definitions being bandied around with little consensus. Mental health appears to be. . .

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News source: OUPblog » Philosophy

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