The literature reflects a contested view of the concept ‘mental health’. What we ‘know about’ mental health can be translated within the definitions, models, elements of and criteria for mental health and in the language used to discuss ‘mental health’ itself. Although these differing ways of knowing about mental health do not exist in isolation from one another, they can offer a clear, systematic and logical approach to reviewing the concept ‘mental health’. This makes it clear, however, that there is no common consensus as to what is meant by ‘mental health’. The aim of this paper is to present an overview of these different ways of knowing about mental health and to discuss critically the implications of having a contested concept.
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