Why Wellness Matters

National Wellness Week - Sept. 16-22, 2013

As part of National Recovery Month, SAMHSA launched the first National Wellness Week in September 2011. National Wellness Week encourages individuals, families, and communities across the country to improve their health behaviors, while also exploring their talents, skills, interests, social connections, and environment to incorporate other dimensions of wellness!

Eight Dimensions of Wellness - A Holistic Guide to Physical and Mental Wellness

For people with behavioral health problems, wellness is not the absence of disease, illness or stress, but the presence of purpose in life, active involvement in satisfying work and play, joyful relationships, a healthy body and living environment, and happiness (1).

Wellness means overall well-being. It incorporates the mental, emotional, physical, occupational, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of a person's life. Each aspect of wellness can affect overall quality of life, so it is important to consider all aspects of health. This is especially important for people with mental and substance use disorders because wellness directly relates to the quality and longevity of your life.

SAMHSA encourages you to incorporate the Eight Dimensions of Wellness (2) in your life:

Emotional - Coping effectively with life and creating satisfying relationships

Environmental - Good health by occupying pleasant, stimulating environments that support well-being

Financial - Satisfaction with current and future financial situations

Intellectual - Recognizing creative abilities and finding ways to expand knowledge and skills

Occupational - Personal satisfaction and enrichment from one's work

Physical - Recognizing the need for physical activity, healthy foods and sleep

Social - Developing a sense of connection, belonging, and a well-developed support system

Spiritual - Expanding our sense of purpose and meaning in life

(1) Dunn, H.L. (1961). High-Level Wellness, Beatty  Press: Arlington, VA.
(2) Swarbrick, M. (2006). A wellness approach. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal, 29,(4) 311–314.

A National Call to Action for Wellness of People with Mental and Substance Use Disorders

SAMHSA's Wellness Initiative aims to inspire individuals to improve one physical health behavior while exploring their talents, skills, interests, social connections, and environment to incorporate other dimensions of wellness.

Join the signers of the Pledge for Wellness now!