Flourishing and Languishing: The Dual Continuum

Mental health and mental illness are not mutually exclusive. With the proper care and support, a student with a mental illness may have very positive mental health. Likewise, a student without any diagnosable mental illness may be experiencing poor mental health. Poor mental health may be the result of many factors, such as an inability to cope with demands or adversity, the absence of a support network or trusting and meaningful relationships, poor self-­esteem, and/or a tendency to think in terms of all or nothing/or catastrophic thinking. Mental health, like physical health, is something that we can all work to improve in ourselves and support others to improve as well.

alt=image showing arrow with 4 points indicating optimal mental health, no mental health symptoms, poor mental health, serious mental illness

A student who has a diagnosis of a mental illness can have a high level of mental wellp being and be flourishing. A student who has no diagnosable mental illness and who has a low level of mental wellp being can be languishing.

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