The Mental Health Continuum

The mental health continuum is a mental health spectrum, with mentally healthy people on the left end of the spectrum, those with some mental challenges in the middle, and those with mental disorders on the right.

Source: MHFA England

The mental health continuum shows that mental health is not all or nothing – there is a lot of ground in between being healthy and being ill.  Anyone can move along the spectrum depending on the circumstances and no one is immune to becoming ill.

The important things to note are:

  • You can go from being healthy and move along the spectrum until you are eventually ill.
  • You can go from being ill through to being healthy – this is helped by being resilient.

Where we sit on the continuum at any point in time will shift depending on life experiences, the cumulative level of stress, levels of resilience (natural and learned) and levels of support. 


“Recovery is a way of living a satisfying, hopeful and contributing life even with limitations caused by illness. Recovery involves the development of new meaning and purpose in one’s life as one grows beyond the catastrophic effects of mental illness.”


You should be aware of where you are on the continuum and the signs that indicate you may need to use additional coping strategies or seek help to maintain your mental health.


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If you would like more information, or would like to talk to us about your mental health: