Vinny has been violent, Leanne hears voices, and Harry is paranoid. How does the vogue for wellbeing help them?

Mental health is everywhere. The phrase reverberates from nurseries to nursing homes, and hushed conversations once held out of the earshot of children and polite company are giving way to a more open dialogue about psychological wellbeing. But are we seeing the full picture? And does the vogue for wellbeing distract us from a long-overdue conversation about individuals with serious mental illness?

I work as a consultant psychiatrist in assertive outreach, a specialty that aims to help those who have struggled to engage with psychiatric services. While they too have mental health problems, you don’t hear a lot about some of the people I meet.

Related: 'It's nothing like a broken leg': why I'm done with the mental health conversation

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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26 March 2019