The Basics of Mental Health

Brains need continuous and consistent care.

Susan Noonan, MD, MPH gives the 6 basics of mental health.

1) Patients must take all medications as prescribed and avoid alcohol, tobacco, and illegal substances.

2) They must maintain a consistent sleep pattern.

3) They must eat a healthy, colorful diet.

4) Patients must keep up with regular physical exercise.

5) Social interaction is important, and they should avoid isolating themselves.

6) Routine and structure to the day will help keep them happy and healthy.

Dr Noonan is a physician consultant and Certified Peer Specialist in the Department of Psychiatry at McLean Hospital and the Massachusetts General Hospital. She is the author of four books and a blog on managing depression, most recently Helping Others With Depression: Words to Say, Things to Do (December 2020). Dr Noonan offers peer counseling to fellow patients, including physicians and other professionals, and can be confidentially reached through her website at