Medicine: What Is Mental Health?

Psychologists and psychiatrists pay so much attention to mental disease that they may not know a healthy mind when they see one. Even the definitions of mental health are vague and still the subject of argument. Last week members of the American Psychological Association were pondering a positive definition of emotional health, advanced by the University of California's Dr. Frank Barren. The definition was unusual because it sounded so usual. The factors listed by Psychologist Barren as indicating good mental health might have been cited by any old-fashioned moral philosopher:

¶ Character and integrity.

¶ Intelligence. (Barron and colleagues found...

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