Working with doctors Working for patients

Defining mental health

  1. 18. Lots of different terms are used to describe people with mental health conditions, which can cause confusion and prevent medical students from getting the right support.
  2. 19. In this guidance, we refer to three levels of severity of mental health conditions:
  • stress
  • mild-to-moderate mental health conditions
  • severe mental illnesses.
  1. We will also refer to eating disorders and substance misuse, which we will define separately. We have included these conditions in this guidance because they are quite common among medical students. Medical schools should be able to give appropriate support for all levels of difficulty rather than focusing on just one type of problem. Other types of condition, such as cognitive impairment and autistic spectrum disorders, are rare in medical students, but this guidance would also apply to medical students experiencing these conditions.