refers to our personal sense of psychological wellness (positive thoughts and feelings).
We are more likely to improve our mental fitness when our needs for recognition
(competence), choices (autonomy), and belonging (relatedness) are met. It means
having a positive sense of how we feel, think and act which improves our
ability to enjoy life. It also implies the ability to efficiently respond to
life’s challenges, and to effectively restore and sustain a state of balance.
Mental Fitness Needs
Mental fitness is fostered in
environments and relationships that satisfy three interrelated needs: competence,
autonomy and relatedness.
“I have strengths and gifts that are recognized by myself and others.”
We need to recognize and use
our personal strengths and gifts to meet goals and to help others. Fulfillment of
this need provides us with a sense of accomplishment and worth.
am able to make choices about things that are important to me.” We need personal
freedom to make choices or decisions that are important to us and have others support
our choices. When this need is satisfied in conjunction with other need areas,
freedom and choice are expressed in ways in which respect is demonstrated for self
“I feel included, supported and encouraged by others.” We need to feel we
belong, and are connected to important relationships that support and encourage
us in spirit and action. This need is met through interaction with others, our
membership in groups, and the support and encouragement we receive from others.
A sense of school
connectedness can support students in making healthy choices. Students who are
attached to their school, and who consider their teachers to be supportive, are
less likely to engage in unhealthy or high-risk behaviours.
New Brunswick Health Council,
(2012-2013). Mental Fitness: New Brunswick Student Wellness Survey Grades 6 to
Centre, Anglophone School District- West
Healthy Learners in