Community Members Prioritise Indicators of Both Mental Health and Wellbeing to Define Flourishing and Quality of Life: Towards The Total Psychological Health Framework.

Richard A Burns, Dimity Crisp, Jiayun Chng, Kristen Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Current frameworks define flourishing in terms of wellbeing alone. This paper examines whether community members similarly define flourishing in terms of wellbeing or whether they prioritise both wellbeing and mental health. We also compare whether those indicators of wellbeing and mental health prioritised to define flourishing are similarly important for community members’ definition of quality of life. Results are from 2 surveys of community respondents (Survey 1 n = 359; Survey 2 n = 287) aged between 18 and 84 years. Participants were asked to identify 5 indicators of wellbeing or mental health which best reflected ‘Quality of Life’ (Survey 1), and Flourishing (Survey 2). Eleven indicators of wellbeing were from the European Social Survey (ESS) Wellbeing module and nine indicators of mental health were from the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Disorders V.5 (DSM 5) diagnoses for Major Depressive Disorder and Generalised Anxiety Disorder. Respondents defined flourishing and quality of life in similar ways and in terms of a combination of mental health and wellbeing indicators. Importantly respondents rated both wellbeing and absence of mental illness as reflecting flourishing. There was no single indicator that was endorsed by all participants; instead a range of wellbeing and mental health indicators were endorsed by participants as reflecting flourishing and quality of life. Contrary to current flourishing frameworks, community respondents defined flourishing in terms of both the presence of wellbeing and absence of mental illness. We propose a new model of psychological health that is informed by both wellbeing and mental health/illness and where flourishing is defined in terms of both wellbeing and mental health.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-28
Number of pages28
JournalApplied Research in Quality of Life
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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