What is mental health?

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health.

Our mental health can span from positive wellbeing, to periods where our life and emotions feel very challenging, through to significant poor wellbeing.

We all want to live happy lives with few worries and feeling calm and upbeat most of the time. But life is full of challenges and difficulties with mental health are common. They also affect many people at different stages of life.

For some, these are brief episodes, while others can have difficulties with their mental health for prolonged periods.

Mental health difficulties can be caused by a wide variety of things such as:

  • difficult past events in our life, especially traumatic events

  • difficult things in the present such as money worries, relationship or housing problems

  • for some people, the way their brain, mind and body work, sometimes for genetic reasons

Explore the rest of our Mental Health resource

What are mental health difficulties?

What we mean by mental health difficulties and what can help at work.

Looking after your mental health at work

Work can often help our mental wellbeing. However, sometimes work brings pressures which add to mental health problems.

Talking to your employer about mental health

Advice about talking to your employer or learning provider to get mental health support.

How can your employer help you?

Employers have legal duties around mental health and can support you in many ways.

Go to start of resource

You'll find links to the other parts of the resource as well as a list of mental health support organisations.

Support for you - apprenticeships 2 432 x 288

If you need support

We're grateful to mental health charity Penumbra for providing advice and information on mental health for this resource. If you need support, you should contact your GP or professional mental-health support organisation.

You can find mental health organisations at the start of this resource.