Word of the Day

mental health

Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


the condition of your mind

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The compound noun mental health is a combination of the adjective ‘mental’ and the noun ‘health’. It was first used in English in the 17th century.


This is Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK and the theme of the week is kindness. People are encouraged to get involved by carrying out acts of kindness and telling stories of kindness. In recent years there have been concerted efforts by organizations and individuals to counter the stigma attached to mental health problems, which for a long time were a taboo subject. Ways of removing this stigma include discussing mental health openly and talking about your own mental health problems, which many public figures have done, including members of the royal family. The aim is that it should become as natural to talk about our mental as our physical health, so that people experiencing mental health problems should not face the added difficulty of negative attitudes and even prejudice.


Mental health…is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going.
(Noam Shpancer)

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.
(Henry David Thoreau)

Related words

well-being, wellness, therapy, therapist

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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