Mental health is a state of well-being in which an individual can realize his or her own potential, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively, and make a contribution to the community.

Mental health promotion aims to protect, support, and sustain emotional and social well-being and create individual, social and environmental conditions that enable optimal psychological and psychophysiological development and improve the coping capacity of individuals. Mental health promotion refers to positive mental health rather than mental ill-health.

Mental health initiatives in schools seek to build the social, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing of students to enable them to achieve education and health goals and to interact with their peers, teachers, family, and community in ways that are respectful and just.

WHO Key terms and definitions in mental health Accessed 6 January 2020

Young, I., L. St Leger, and G. Buijs. 2013. School Health Promotion: Evidence for Effective Action: SHE Factsheet 2. Utrecht: CBO. 

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