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Mental Health in Later LifeTaking a Life Course Approach$
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Alisoun Milne

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447305729

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447305729.001.0001

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Mental health, psychological well-being, successful ageing and quality of life

Mental health, psychological well-being, successful ageing and quality of life

(p.33) 2 Mental health, psychological well-being, successful ageing and quality of life
Mental Health in Later Life

Alisoun Milne

Policy Press

Positive mental health is a prerequisite for a good quality of life across the whole lifespan. It is an overarching concept, which intersects with a number of related concepts, psychological wellbeing, successful ageing and quality of life. Good mental health is increasingly understood as a combination of an individual’s personality, environment and lifecourse; it is also dynamic. Older people consider it to be characterised by: a sense of wellbeing, capacity to make and sustain relationships, ability to meet the challenges which later life brings, and ability to contribute both economically and socially. Mental health is viewed as equally important as physical health. Research identifies the core dimensions of mental health, and its sister concepts, as: resilience, remaining active and involved, having a purpose or role, being able to engage in social relationships, independence, keeping fit, having an adequate income, autonomy and self-efficacy. Survey evidence consistently shows that more than 85 per cent of older people have ‘good’ quality of life. One of the challenges of assessing and measuring quality of life, and related constructs, is capturing the intersection between the subjective and the objective. The promotion of mental health is increasingly recognised as a legitimate goal of social policy.

Keywords:   Mental Health, Psychological Wellbeing, Successful Ageing, Quality of Life, Older people’s views of mental health, psychological wellbeing and quality of life, The quality of life of older people

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