Though probably just as important if not even more important than physical health, mental health issues are only getting highlighted in more recent times. Stress, anxiety, and burnout are just some of the issues people struggle with and making mental health a priority has, therefore, become essential. Here are some mental health awareness points to consider.
But what does mental health awareness mean? What are the mental health awareness facts to consider? In this article, we explore some of the most important aspects and facts of mental health awareness.
Mental Health Is an Issue for Everyone
Mental health is an issue for everyone, not just those who suffer from mental illness. Just like everyone needs to take care of their physical health by making wise lifestyle choices, our mental and emotional health also requires care and attention.
Getting Past the Stigma of Mental Health Issues
Having seen generations of people stigmatising those who suffered from mental health issues, one requires courage and a degree of acceptance to begin discussing and eventually tackling mental health issues. Everyone is used to brushing mental health issues under the carpet rather than deal with them in an open and transparent manner.
Because of the stigma attached to mental health issues, one would be forgiven to think that only a minority of people suffer from mental health issues. This is not true. According to a report by the World Health Organisation, as of April 2017, an estimated 300 million people suffered from depression, 60 million from bipolar disorder, 47.5 million from dementia, and 21 million people suffer from schizophrenia. These figures are staggering and they do not include the millions of people who suffer from stress, anxiety disorders, or burnout.
Stress, Anxiety, and Burnout
It’s not just those who need to seek help from psychiatrists that face mental health issues. The problem is far more prevalent and touches the life of most people. Stress and anxiety disorders, along with incidents of burnout are on the increase, so much so that it is necessary to take these issues into the mainstream.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), approximately 40 million people in the US alone suffer from anxiety, and the figures are similar in other countries. Stress at work, in relationships, and of a financial nature are among the most common causes. However, a lack of openness surrounding stress and anxiety help to compound the problem.
Not speaking about anxiety and stress makes matters worse, so much so that many are no longer able to cope.
The Importance of Speaking Out About Mental Health
The stigma combined with the lack of open discussion on mental health undoubtedly heighten the severity of the problem for many people. Isolation and loneliness are known to be contributory factors too.
Thankfully, mental health awareness has now become a more pressing topic, not least of all because many employers have seen stressed workers burn out. Absenteeism is often down to stress-related conditions, as a result of which companies and societies as a whole have had to take note.
Mental health awareness drives have helped to kick start a more open and frank discussion, with many individuals now bravely stepping up and talking about their mental health struggles.
This is crucial for people who find themselves struggling. If people in general recognize and embrace the importance of mental health issues as well as the benefit of talking about mental health, the problem becomes easier to tackle. People feel less lonely and are more willing to seek help.
Speaking about mental health can also help to change work practices and attitudes, both of which can prove invaluable to those who are suffering.
Raising Mental Health Awareness
Governments in many countries have only just begun to make additional funding available for the promotion of good mental health. Companies have also introduced various measures to support staff in an effort to prevent absenteeism as well as burnout.
As life becomes increasingly fast-paced with many people lacking the time to rest and relax, mental health drives are crucial. What’s more, making mental health awareness mainstream and putting it on a par with physical health can help to tackle as well as prevent mental health problems. If individuals recognise the importance of mental health and learn to maintain positive mental health, the number of sufferers may well drop.
For the Sake of Teenagers and Young Adults
Raising mental health awareness is particularly important for teenagers and young adults. Social media are said to increase the social pressure considerably, making these issues even more compelling. Rather than constantly feeding into the “airbrush” mentality, educators, the media, and societies in their entirety ought to release some of this relentless pressure by openly discussing the more fragile side of human nature. By doing so, the young and the old can jointly find ways to prioritize mental health and make it as important as the pursuit of physical health.
Websites Promoting Mental Health Awareness
There are a great number of websites promoting mental health and raising mental health awareness. Among them, you’ll find:
World Federation of Mental Health Education and awareness
Gulbenkian Platform for Global Mental Health Platform established in support of the global movement for a UN Summit on Mental Health
Mental Health and Psychosocial Support Network (MHPSS) Resource sharing and sharing network
Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative (REPSSI) Provides tips on social and emotional well being
A Billion Minds and Lives Tools and tips on maintaining mental health
Movement for Global Mental Health Idea sharing platform for organisations and individuals, mental health resource provision
Mental Health Worldwide Mental health awareness campaign website
These are just some of the worldwide mental health awareness websites, no doubt, there are several in your area. A simple Google search will point you in the right direction.
Pursuing Good Mental Health Just Like Physical Health
If we took the same proactive approach to the pursuit of mental health as we do to physical health, many people would be able to deal with mental issues more effectively. Prevention is equally important, as is educating everyone on how to maintain good mental health. This is an issue for everyone, let’s treat it as such.