Models of mental health (A guide)

In this brief blog, we will be discussing the models of mental health, the models of mental health care, the general models of mental health, and more information about the models of mental health.

What Is Mental Health?

Mental health is a form of wellbeing where the person feels that he or she can reach his or her potential, live life to the fullest, and get along well with others. In this case, the person with this kind of state is living in a life that is worth living. 

In reality, the presence of mental health in a person doesn’t mean that he or she has times when he or she becomes a little bit mentally distressed.

Human beings are meant to manifest flaws and imperfections from time-to-time.

Although people with optimal degrees of mental health are more capable of seeing issues that arise in life in a positive light than in a negative light where they are seen as challenging.

In this case, the measure of this wellbeing state can be seen in a person on how he or she reacts in a stressful situation. 

For instance, one person would look at a stressful situation as something to be solved which he or she can work on finding solutions from peers or the parties involved in the problem.

Another person may look at this kind of situation as destiny since he or she has been facing these situations and it seems that there are no ways for them to solve the constant onslaught of these situations.

What Is Mental Illness?

Mental illness is the presence of behaviours, emotions, and thoughts where the person is showing rebelliousness from the norm, distress and burden from this kind of illness, committing danger against oneself or other people, and may seem dysfunctional and impaired in daily activities.

This kind of description has been rampant in defining and diagnosing mental health disorders. 

You might see people with mental illness as someone who is constantly dishevelled which indicates that he or she is not taking care of their hygiene.

You could say that these kinds of people don’t have time or the capability of taking care of themselves due to their mental disabilities. 

You might also find these kinds of people to be weird and eccentric since they show inappropriate behaviours at the wrong times.

For example, a person who is doing a religious ritual is very unusual than a person who is doing these kinds of rituals in a church. 

This aspect of deviance is an important part since it is what differentiates people with mental illnesses from people who have optimal degrees of mental health.

You can learn more about mental illness and its characteristics by buying this book on this website.

Models Of Mental Health And Mental Illness

Models of mental health or mental health theories are made to help find some psychological interventions for people who are suffering from mental illnesses and complications.

In this case, these kinds of models are used to help these kinds of people to reach the optimal degrees of this wellbeing form. 

In abnormal psychology, the awareness of the triggers of the mental illness can give indications to what treatments can work for the patient.

In this case, the causes of this illness can give mental health professionals an idea of what the patient truly needs. 

Some of these models of mental health may even be familiar once you hear them.

This is because the popular media such as movies in Netflix have exposed you to possible explanations on why people act erratically or farther from the common folk. 

For examples, the series titled “13 Reasons Why” have indicated some scenarios that can drive the girl character to think about killing herself which can give the audience ideas on what constitutes suicidal behaviours.

The following are the most widely used models of mental health that have been effective in finding the causes of mental illnesses.

  • Biomedical Model of Mental Illness
  • Behavioural Model of Mental Health
  • Cognitive Model of Mental Illness
  • Psychodynamic Model of Mental Health
  • Spiritual Model of Mental Illness
  • Sociocultural Model of Mental Health

Biomedical Model Of Mental Illness

The biomedical model or biological model of mental illness is based on the premise that neuroanatomy can interact with neurotransmitters that can affect some parts of the brain that can lead to a treatment or mental illness.

A major aspect of this model of mental health is the study of the neurotransmitter called serotonin which its impaired levels can cause dysfunction in eating habits leading to anorexia nervosa and bulimia. 

This model of mental health is assuming that mental illnesses or complications can be treated like physical disorders are being treated such as the use of surgery or other medical procedures and medications.

For instance, electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) is a medical procedure that is used for mental disorders that can bring risk to the individual and those affected patients who haven’t seen any benefits coming from other psychological interventions and the effective benefits of this procedure such as in alleviating depression and bipolar disorder are still undiscovered. 

This model of mental health even explained that genetics is also a factor in the manifestation of mental illness.

This can be seen in medications being effective in treating these illnesses due to their effects in the brain. 

Unfortunately, medications aren’t perfect with the fact that they can cause adverse side effects such as allergic responses and digestive complications.

ECT can also cause side effects such as the dysfunction of some brain functions like personality and memory.

You can learn more about this medical procedure for mental health disorders by buying this book on this website.

Behavioural Model Of Mental Health

The behavioural model of mental health believes that mental health illnesses stem from the environmental experiences in affected patients.

In this case, mental health professionals will be changing impaired behaviours by checking the patient’s background. 

If the mental health professional will be following this model of mental health, he or she will be using aversive therapy which is the associating of impaired behaviours to negative consequences.

Systematic desensitization is another method where the patient is exposed to the gradual exposure of feared stimuli. 

This method is used to make the first exposure of the feared stimuli tolerable before moving on to fearful exposures of the feared stimuli.

This model of mental health can only concentrate on changing behaviours than focusing on the causes of these impaired behaviours. 

The proponents of this model believe that people’s behaviours can be controlled even without the knowledge of inner causes.

Although this model doesn’t deny the internal causes altogether too much focus on it may cause more aversive behaviours.

Cognitive Model Of Mental Illness

The cognitive model of mental health concentrates on cognitive distortions being that cases of the onset of mental illnesses.

People are prone to having automatic attributions to situations which can promote irrational thinking that can cause these illnesses. 

The cognitive model of mental health is one of the most famous models since it focuses on the processes of perception, memory, and rationality being factors that can lead to mental illness.

This model also believes that there is an association between cognitive functions and impaired behaviours which make changing thinking patterns important to mental wellbeing.

The treatment in the cognitive model of mental health is similar to the behavioural model but this model is more on the change of thinking patterns to change behaviours.

In this case, therapy focuses on changing the feelings and thoughts about a certain situation that can lead to positive behavioural change. 

A core assumption of cognitive therapy is that we tend to make attributions about our future, self, and the world which is vital that these perceptions should be intervened by mental health professionals.

You can learn more about cognitive therapy for mental health disorders by buying this book on this website.

Psychodynamic Model Of Mental Health

The psychodynamic model of mental health was created on the findings of Sigmund Freud.

This model believes that impaired behaviours come from our repressed memories such as childhood abuse and these behaviours are manifestations of the neglect of our dark sides. 

This model of mental health believes that the patient can only be healed when he or she opens up about his or her repressed memories.

This is why the free association is widely practised in this model since this allows the patient to speak freely that comes from his or her mind. 

This model of mental health can be effective since the patient is able to release pent up emotions about a stressful event.

This model has also been the source of inspiration for mental health professionals who are using hypnotherapy which has been studied to be effective for phobias. 

This is a model of mental health that emphasizes the point of human relationships in the past and present.

This led to the creation of therapies that can help these affected patients to improve their social skills and live a more fulfilled life.

Spiritual Model Of Mental Illness

The spiritual model of mental health is one of the oldest models to explain mental health.

This model believes that our minds can be influenced by supernatural forces that can’t be seen by the unaided eye. 

This model of mental health is typically associated to religious beliefs where they are bad and good forces lurking.

This can be seen that most beliefs in this model concentrate on the mentally ill person to have done an evil deed that made him or her get punished through impaired behaviours. 

For instance, a girl was possessed by a demon since she was misbehaving at church.

It can also be a similar situation when the girl was possessed by a demon due to her past misdeeds. 

In recent years, religious interventions can only be used to people who are suffering from mental illnesses when all other psychological treatments have failed to see effects.

You can read more studies about mental illnesses being treated using this model of mental health by buying this book on this website.

Sociocultural Model Of Mental Health

This final model of mental health is the sociocultural model which is as important as other models.

The emphasis of this model is the appearance of labelling that arises stigma towards mental illness and how cultures perceive mental illness. 

In some extreme cases, this model of mental health states that some cultures believe that mental illness is not real.

The psychiatrist Thomas Szasz famously argued that mental health professionals are secular priests and that this illness was simply referred for deviant people that society deemed needed to be controlled or managed. 

Models Of Mental Health Care

Researchers are convinced those new models of mental health care can help enhance the effects of psychological treatments toward patients.

This kind of model has also covered integrated care teams, urgent and emergency care pathways, primary care, and population health.

These kinds of models will help carry out mental health care.

Although these kinds of models are not easily applied.

This is why there are seminars and workshops dedicated to these kinds of models since the lack of awareness makes it difficult for them to understand the benefits of these models.

The following are the findings in the research literature surrounding these kinds of models:

  • Knowledge and skills around psychology and mental health are vital aspects of integrated care, whatever the client group or population.
  • Some locations report that new models of care have made it easier for local professionals to gather informal advice from mental health professionals without making a referral, making a more seamless experience for patients.
  • Working closely with voluntary sector organisations has permitted integrated care teams in some vanguard locations to better support the mental health and wellbeing of people with complex needs or necessities.

With seminars and workshops on these kinds of models, it is easier to provide proper mental health care to individuals who have mental health issues in the community.

Volunteer works and practices can also motivate this community outreach on mental health. 

You can learn more about this mental health care and its application by buying this book here.

Limitations Of These Mental Health Models

These models of mental health are not all perfect since some didn’t approve of being explained in the model and there are other models that don’t have enough findings that make it a kind of model.

For instance, the biological model was helpful enough to discover that there are biological influences that cause mental illness. 

Some of these models of mental health are very difficult to understand by other mental health professionals.

For instance, family studies have had a major confusion between genetics causing mental illnesses or the family environment causing these kinds of illnesses.

Some of these models of mental health aren’t apparent enough in their studies of creating a cause and effect phenomenon.

Another instance is that the psychodynamic model being disapproving of the methods of the behavioural model since this model doesn’t tackle the underlying causes of impaired behaviour.

The psychodynamic model of mental health believes that behavioural symptoms that are distressing are the results of not being able to grasp the unconscious of the patient.

Without knowing the underlying causes, the affected patient is fated to have other behavioural symptoms that can manifest differently than before.

The behavioural model of mental sticks to its notion that there is no need to look for underlying causes of behaviours.

After all, the methods from this kind of model have been helpful in treating specific psychological disorders.

Although these kinds of methods haven’t been effective in the long-term behaviours of the patients.

This kind of model has also raised ethical concerns.

The behavioural model of mental health has methods that are considered to be losing the human factor and treating human beings as machines.


In this brief blog, we have discussed the models of mental health, the models of mental health care, the general models of mental health, and more information about the models of mental health.

If you have any questions about the models of mental health, please let us know and the team will gladly answer your queries.

FAQs: models of mental health

What are the 4 D’s of abnormal behaviour?

The 4 D’s of abnormal behaviour are deviance, distress, dysfunction, and danger in abnormality.

The component or aspect of danger is the one that is most addressed by public affairs since some criminals have mental illnesses or complications that make them susceptible to endanger other people’s lives.

What are examples of abnormal behaviour?

Examples of abnormal behaviour are some people who are having panic attacks in public, people who are showing multiple personalities in inconvenient times, people who tend to be sad all the time or happy all the time, and people who are exhibiting or manifesting erratic movements and can see things that others don’t see.

What are the symptoms of abnormal behaviour?

The symptoms of abnormal behaviour are getting easily annoyed at small things, putting blame on others, typically appears angry, refusing or deviant towards rules and regulations, has complications in dealing with frustration, and throwing temper tantrums in inappropriate times.

How should you treat a person with abnormal behaviour?

A person with abnormal behaviour should be treated with several psychotherapies such as cognitive therapy, aversive therapy, psychoanalytic therapy, client-centred therapy, and play therapy which have been found to be effective against this kind of behaviour.

Is depression abnormal behaviour?

Yes, depression is abnormal behaviour since it causes distress and danger upon the affected individual and causes dysfunction in a person’s life.

This kind of mental complication can also bring danger to the person himself or herself due to suicidal symptoms in this kind of complication.


Psychology Today. Five Broad Models of Mental Illness.

SlideShare. Models of mental health & illness.

The King’s Fund. Mental health and new models of care: lessons from the vanguards.

Wikipedia. Models of abnormality.