Mental health is defined by the WHO as "a state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to his or her community". It is necessary for the well being and effective functioning of an individual and for a community. It can be said that mental, physical, and social functioning are interdependent. There are multiple social, psychological and biological factors interacting to determine health (WHO Summary Report, 2004). Nurses play a major role in the assessment and treatment of mental health patients. Nurses, by virtue of their proximity to the patients, develop a sense of empathy and caring feeling which comes naturally to them and thus are able to promote the emotional well being of the patient. Mental health nurses work with people suffering from various types of mental illnesses. .
Economically, Linda is a dependent person, that too on the abusive husband. She also lives on DLA benefits. Poverty and deprivation have a significant effect on mental health. Poor people in any society are vulnerable to mental illness because of insecurity, hopelessness, rapid social change, risks of physical and mental abuse and increased physical morbidity (WHO Summary Report, 2004). The association between poverty and mental illness is universal. It occurs in all societies whether, developed, underdeveloped or developing. According to the World Health Organization, "Mental disorders occur in persons of all genders, ages, and backgrounds. No group is immune to mental disorders, but the risk is higher among the poor, homeless, the unemployed and persons with low education" (Cited in Kuruvilla &. Jacob, 2007). Poverty is associated with a lack of opportunity, reduced availability, and accessibility to resources and increased chances of experiencing difficult events. These can lead to distress which can manifest as low mood, sadness, frustration, discontentment or physical illness without organic cause (Kuruvilla &. Jacob, 2007).