Mental health, like physical health, is a vital element of individual well-being. And, just like the physical counterpart, ignoring the symptoms of mental health issues has serious, often unintended and sometimes tragic, consequences.
The broader topic of mental health touches everyone across three distinct domains of wellness: emotional, psychological, and social (including aspects related to development and behavior). An individual’s level of mental wellness is the sum total of their personal perception of these three domains. Consequently, major life changes, or stressors, can significantly lower overall mental health and result in negative impacts on family, career, and physical health. Even employers acknowledge the importance of mental health and wellness, because excessive job stress has led to increased costs associated with lost productivity and higher medical care premiums. In short, mental health is more than the absence of mental illnesses or disorders, it is "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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".