Mental Health

Understanding Mental Health

Understanding Mental Health

The concept of Mental Health is not generally understood or discussed to any great extent by individuals, families, the media or society unlike physical heath.

What is mental health?

 The World Health Organisation defines mental health as:

“a state of wellbeing in which the individual realises 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.”

When an individual’s ability to cope and contribute to daily life is impaired this is a mental health issue. This is more common than perceived as one in four persons can experience a mental health difficulty at some point in their life. Stress, bullying, addiction, bereavement are some of the factors which can affect our ability to cope with daily life. Unfortunately people who experience mental health problems can feel very isolated, alone and misunderstood.

 It is this reality that motivated us to develop our partnership project ‘Healthy Reading, Healthy Mind’ . An appropriate book may not only suggest ways to manage problems but also reassure people that they are not alone. Reading can provide support, guidance, direction and empower the reader to work toward maintaining good mental health. Help lines and websites can also be a source of support and help. These materials can also be beneficial for concerned family members and friends .

Useful books:

From the Heart : your mental health questions answered
Patricia Casey
Dublin : Blackhall Publishing ,2004

Flagging the Problem : a new approach to mental health
Harry Barry
Dublin : Liberties Press , 2007

Speaking our Minds :an anthology
Jim Read & Jill Reynolds ( editors )
Basingstoke : Macmillan , 1996

Going Mad : understanding mental illness
Michael Corry & Aine Tubridy
Dublin : Newleaf ,2001

Manage your Mind : the mental fitness guide
Gillian Butler & Tony Hope
Oxford: Oxford University Press , 2009

Change for the Better :self help through practical psychotherapy
Elizabeth Wilde McCormick
London : Sage Publications , 2008

The Mental Health Handbook : a cognitive behavioural approach
Trevor Powell.
Brackley : Speechmark, c2009.

Mind over Mood : change how you feel by changing the way you think
Dennis Greenberger, Christine A. Padesky ; foreword by Aaron T. Beck.
New York ; London : Guilford, c1995.

The Feeling Good Handbook
David D. Burns.
New York, N.Y., : Plume, c1999.

Wherever you go, There you are: mindfulness meditation for everyday life
Jon Kabat-Zinn.
London : Piatkus, 2004.

Visit the library catalogue to see these and more. You can also download eBooks & eAudiobooks on this topic :

Useful Websites:

Emergeny / Crisis Numbers

  • Your local GP or MIDoc - 1850 302702
  • Gardaí/Emergency services - 999 / 112
  • The Samaritans - 116 123 or text : 087 2609090 or email :
  • 24/7 Suicide helpline - 1800 247247 or text "help" to 51444
  • Aware - 1890 303302 or email:
  • Farm and Rural Stress helpline - 1800 742645
  • Childline - 1800 666 666