World Mental Health Day 2018
Over 450 million people globally, currently suffer from mental disorders making these disorders among the leading causes of ill health and disability worldwide. Though a major health issue, very few people have knowledge on mental health disorders, even those who suffer from them. Creating awareness on mental health issues is therefore crucial.
What is Mental Health?
Mental health, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO), refers to the state of well-being in which each individual realizes their own potential, is able to cope with normal stresses of life and work productively to make a contribution to the society and to themselves. Mental health is therefore much more than the absence of a mental health condition.
Some of the major mental health conditions are dementia, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and anxiety disorder. The early signs of mental health disorders may include:
- Eating and sleeping problems,
- Feeling helpless and hopeless,
- Severe mood changes, and
- Thoughts of harming oneself.
These disorders can be caused by environmental factors, inherited traits and changes in brain chemistry, among other factors. They can be diagnosed through physical examination, lab tests to check the thyroid function and through psychological evaluation.
The treatment of mental health disorders can be done through use of medication such as antidepressants, psychotherapy and brain stimulation treatments, among other treatments.
You can prevent yourself from mental health disorders by getting routine medical care, getting help when you need it, taking good care of yourself and most importantly by paying attention to any warning signs.
About World Mental Health Day
The purpose of the world health day is to create awareness on mental health issues and mobilize efforts to support mental health. To help you understand just how important creating this awareness is, here are some shocking statistics on mental health:
- Almost two third of people with a known mental health disorder never seek help from a health professional,
- More than 40% of countries have no mental health policy and over 30% have no mental health programmes.
- More than 33% of countries allocate less than 1% of their total health budgets to mental health.
- There is one psychiatrist per 100,000 people in over half of the countries in the world.
Governments need to make mental health treatment available and affordable to its people. Every country, regardless of its resource constraints, can do something to improve the mental health of its people. However, this fight must not be left to the governments only; you have a role to play to see to it that more people have an understanding of mental health disorders.
That way, the neglect and stigma that people suffering from mental health disorders go through will slowly be a thing of the past because preventing mental health issues, starts with a better understanding on these disorders and embracing those who are going through them.
The fight to end mental health disorders is everyone’s. Make your contribution to ensure that people dealing with mental health problems can live a better, dignified life.