Retro -- If you can post twice, I guess I might as well give it a shot
... though if it's too 'Zen," I trust someone will delete it:
As you say, there are a zillion ramifications and entry points on "mental health" and Buddhist practice and I can't pretend to know how to cover all the bases. Still, my two cents ....
I had a Zen teacher once, a man I came to distrust deeply, who said, "In order to practice Zen, a certain mental health is required." And, however vague that statement is, I agree with it. People who run around pretending to "rely on the Dharma" have missed the point: If the best the Dharma could do was offer something called reliability, how could anyone be better off than they were before they 'discovered the Dharma?'
There are profoundly compelling understandings that accompany a Buddhist practice ... OK. But using such understandings to evade or put up defenses against the life anyone might actually lead -- crazy or sane, no difference -- well, isn't that sort of sad? If what a 'Buddhist' needs is a little Zen practice, good: Practice Zen. If what a 'Buddhist' needs is a trip to a counselor, good: Go to a shrink. If what a 'Buddhist' needs is a bit of down time in front of the TV, good: Watch some tube. If what a 'Buddhist' needs is some lunch, good: See what's in the fridge.
The key element that accompanies our 'profound' or 'ordinary' activities is attention -- gentle, but firm, attention. Just pay attention ... and see what happens. In this way, I think our "mental health" and our "Buddhism" are both maintained and improved.
But that's just me.