Back to top

Health and Well-being

Looking after our mental health is just as important as looking after our physical health. 

So, what exactly is mental health?

Mental health is a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community.”

Mental health is our ability to respond to challenges.

What kind of challenges? It could be anything: from a sudden encounter with a tiger, to anticipating an exam. It could be something physical like an illness, something social like bullying or being left out. It could be an all-consuming crush on someone, or a to-do list the size of a shark, it could be arguments with your family or a difficult essay, or the death of a parent, or a long-distance move. The fact is that life rarely goes according to plan, and whenever we are beset by the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, mental health is our ability to bounce back and stay on course. Now how do you get this ability? Are you born with it? No. Mental health can change, and the things that tend to shape it are called risk factors and protective factors.

Protective factors such as a sense of self-worth, a supportive family or strong friendships tend to cushion and support you, making it more likely that you will maintain a state of positive mental health and stay on track.

On the other hand, risk factors such as chronic illness can have the opposite effect, increasing the impact of disruptions in your life and making it more likely you will experience a decline in mental health.

The good news is that protective factors can offset risk factors.

And even better news is that protective factors introduced in early years can help shape positive mental health across a person’s lifespan. 

These pages will provide strategies to stay mentally healthy. 


Resilience for teens
Routines to help teens stay positive

Mental health and help:

Headspace – mental health info and online counselling service

Beyond blue – information about all things mental health


Strategies for switching to positive thoughts:

More information coming your way soon

Managing your screen time