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Mental health is explained by the World Health Organization (WHO) as “a state of well-being in which the individual realizes 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.”

Family is defined as “a group of two or more persons related by birth, marriage, or adoption who live together; all such related persons are considered as members of one family.” Family relationships can have a profound effect on mental health, behavior, as well as physical health. Depending on the nature of family relationships, one’s mental health can be enhanced or negatively impacted. When family life is characterized by stress, conflict, and untreated mental health illness, the health of family members can be adversely affected. On the other hand, being part of a cohesive, supportive family dynamic can increase overall health. 

Mental Health Effects

As is true with all things in life, the family can have both positive and negative effects on one’s mental health. There is an increasing body of research that demonstrates that negative family relationships can detract from someone’s mental health. The family environment (circumstances and social climate conditions within the family) will greatly inform whether one’s family will have primarily positive or negative mental health effects on its members. Being raised in a high-risk family environment can be detrimental to one’s mental health. Studies have shown that in these situations individuals are at increased risk for developing a wide range of behavioral and physical health consequences

When family relationships are stable and supportive, they can have positive effects on one’s mental health, as they can provide resources that can help a family member learn to cope with stress, engage in healthier behaviors, and cultivate improved self-esteem. In a healthy family unit, family members can rely on each other for emotional support, economic support, and companionship. Individual family relationships and group family dynamics will inevitably change as time passes. The mental health effects of the family should not be polarized, as the effects will be nuanced and distinct to each member that makes up a family unit.  

Further Information and Support

Navigating the challenges that arise from living with mental illness, struggling with substance abuse, and/ or addiction can not only be all-consuming but are often impossible to effectively handle without proper support. If you are concerned for yourself or a loved one regarding mental illness, substance abuse, and/ or addiction we recommend reaching out for help as soon as possible. Bear in mind that you do not have to be on this journey alone. At {Upwell Advisors}, we offer unique, customized concierge therapeutic services to provide our clients with unparalleled support throughout every step of the recovery process. 

Feel free to reach to contact us anytime via email at sean@upwelladvisors.com. We look forward to supporting you on your journey.

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