Mental Health Occurs on a Dual Spectrum

Mental health can be viewed as a horizontal continuum. That spectrum includes general contentment and emotional well-being at one end; mild mental health issues like mild depression and anxiety in the middle; and extreme forms of mental illness, like deep depression, psychosis, schizophrenia and even suicide at the other end.

We may not have control over where we start on the spectrum. We come into the world with a genetic makeup, and our family and life experiences interact with our heredity to define our mental health.

Severe Mental and Emotional Disruption

Anxiety, Depression, Substance Dependence

General Stress, East at Times, Disruption at Times

General Mental andEmotional Wellbeing, Periodic Moments of Disruption

High Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

TAP EACH ICON ABOVE TO LEARN MORE

Severe Mental and Emotional Disruption

Anxiety, Depression, Substance Dependence

General Stress, East at Times, Disruption at Times

General Mental and Emotional Wellbeing, Periodic Moments of Disruption

High Mental and Emotional Wellbeing

However, as our friends at the Global Wellness Initiative point out, there is another spectrum of mental wellness. This added vertical axis captures the reality that people with diagnosed mental disorders can thrive with the right support, tools and practices. And people without a mental disorder can experience low emotional and mental wellness —such as overwhelming stress, loneliness and conflict—at times.

Dual Continuum Model of Mental Illness

Adapted from The Global Wellness Institute
Flourishing
Mental
Health
Languishing
Mental
Illness

Hover over each tile to learn more

Tap a tile
above to learn more

Mental Wellness Spectrum Slautogenic

  • Happiness
  • Life satisfaction
  • Strong relationships
  • Personal growth
  • Peak performance

Mild/Moderate
Symptoms

  • Resilience
  • Positive relationships
  • Positive coping
  • High functioning
  • Sadness & worry
  • Stress & anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Disengaged
  • Debilitated

Uncontrolled 
symptoms

  • Instability
  • Isolation/Conflicted relationships
  • Negative coping
No matter where you land on the mental health spectrum, you can move yourself toward greater mental wellness by creating an ecosystem of mental wellness that includes the interlocking building blocks you need to build your mental and emotional resilience. The more building blocks you add, the more you’ll find yourself moving toward greater mental and emotional well-being. Start building your own ecosystem at our resources page.

Adapted from a Global Wellness Institute model, which was developed from concepts originally contributed by Keith Tudor (1996) and Corey L.M. Keyes (2002). Source: Global Wellness Institute

WHAT WOULD YOU GIVE?

consider making an end-of-year donation to help JWB integrate exercise, nutrition, and mind-body practices, into mental health care and promotion of mental well-being for all.

IN 2023, YOUR DONATION WILL SUPPORT THE DEVELOPMENT OF…

  • THE BRICK CERTIFICATION FOR FITNESS PROFESSIONALS AND MENTAL HEALTH PROVIDERS
  • THE JWB CENTER FOR INTEGRATIVE WELL-BEING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO
AND MORE…