Mental Health Continuum

It’s natural to go through ups and downs in life. Sometimes you bounce right back when you’re feeling down. Other times, you may need help to recover and return to feeling like your usual self.

So how can you tell when you need help?

The Mental Health Continuum Model illustrates the different mental health phases you may experience throughout your life and career.

It’s important to remember that you can move in either direction along the spectrum, which means there is always the possibility to return to full health and functioning.

Mental Health Continuum shows how levels of mental health are reflected in:

  • What we do (behaviours)

  • How we feel (emotions)

  • How we think (cognitions)

  • How we feel in our body (physical)

Common signs are reflected along the continuum, so you can see how your problems increase and your functioning decreases, as you move towards the right along the continuum. They are grouped into six themes:

  • Mood

  • Attitude

  • Sleep

  • Physical Health

  • Activity

  • Habits 

The continuum goes from healthy, adaptive coping (green), through mild and reversible distress or functional impairment (yellow), to more severe, persistent injury or impairment (orange), through to clinical illnesses and disorders requiring more concentrated medical care (red).

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