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Can you have 'mental health'?! (Light hearted/Definition)

(16 Posts)
Rufus27 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:25:39

In the media recently I've heard a number of people being interviewed who state that they have 'mental health' or 'suffer from mental health'. Is it just me, or is this phrase totally unhelpful? Dont they actually mean they have 'a mental health condition/poor mental health/problems with their mental health'? Everyone has 'mental health', surely? The phrase is neutral.

Likewise, I have heard a number of people say they have 'blood pressure' when they actually mean they have high or low blood pressure, I presume? (This could be regional as, unlike the first example, I've only heard it irl).

Does this irk anyone else or am I being particularly pedantic? (I can be grin). Have you noticed any other examples?

PlayOnWurtz Sun 23-Apr-17 19:31:44

You either have good mental health or poor mental health same as you either have good physical health or poor physical health.

You can have mental illness. I suspect that's what they mean.

user1471545174 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:31:55

Mental health used to refer to mental illness is my pet hate, Rufus!

The ultimate Orwellian doublespeak.

user1471545174 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:33:53

Mental health used to be a positive phrase. It has only become neutral since this misuse started up.

Ginkypig Sun 23-Apr-17 19:34:10

Iv had this discussion with a friend and our opinion is

Everyone has mental health just as we all have physical health it's just a question wether it's poor or well at the time of mentioning it.

FrenchLavender Sun 23-Apr-17 19:34:51

No you can't have 'mental health,' at least not in the context in which they are using it.

newtlover Sun 23-Apr-17 19:36:55

YANBU and it's a very unhelpful phrase
not pedantic

Oh that one really annoys me! We all have 'mental health' just like we all have 'physical health' but it can be good or poor, fine or with problems.

I internally scream every time I see someone post 'I have mental health'. Perhaps I have mental health...winkgrin

Rufus27 Sun 23-Apr-17 19:57:19

Glad it's not just me!

PacificDogwod Sun 23-Apr-17 19:59:39

Oh, it's the ultimate in misleading, lazy use of language.

IME and IMO there is also a huge discrepancy between mental illness, the lack of mental well being and mental health: I am perfectly capable of being mentally healthy while my mental wellbeing is affected by all sorts of shit in my life.


TheElephantofSurprise Sun 23-Apr-17 20:00:32

'mental hygiene' was a term used about thirty years ago. don't know if it still is.

OddBoots Sun 23-Apr-17 20:05:11

People do it without actually thinking, in the same way people say 'I've got a temperature' when they mean a raised temperature.

FlyingElbows Sun 23-Apr-17 20:10:37

I watched the marathon coverage today and Branding Foster's clumsy use of the term "mental health" instead of "mental illness" was cringe worthy. It's like "ok, we'll say" mental", all progressive like, but we can't say "illness" cause, you know, er... yeah". It's not much of a step forward!

I do like the "oooh, dear, I've got blood pressure." Aye, cus if ye didnae y'd be deid!! grin

UnbornMortificado Sun 23-Apr-17 20:12:34

YANBU stupid, stupid expression it is angry

harderandharder2breathe Sun 23-Apr-17 20:27:08


They may have good mental health or they may have bad mental health, mental health problems, mental illness, etc etc etc

Although I wouldn't count someone saying they suffer/struggle WITH their mental health as it's clear what they mean.

christinarossetti Sun 23-Apr-17 20:29:51

Brendon Foster was cringeworthy today with his talk of 'mental', but nevertheless, it's very positive that mental health and illness are being openly and constructively discussed on prime time TV.

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