Society at-large holds negative views concerning mental illness, and these beliefs form a stigma that impacts countless individuals on both interpersonal and institutional levels. In fact, “The percentage of young Americans experiencing certain types of mental health disorders has risen significantly over the past decade, with no corresponding increase in older adults, according to research published by the American Psychological Association.” We must work together to change this trajectory.
We are currently in the midst of a mental health crisis, and we have been for some time. All around the world, mental health issues are on the rise –– despite the fact that more resources have become widely available.
Studies suggest that one in five adults in the United States experience some form of mental health problem every year. It has been shown 50% mental illnesses begin at the age of 14, and as such, it’s important that we develop and provide information and resources to youth who are at risk of developing mental health disorders.
There are lots of reasons that people may struggle with mental health problems, and just as many reasons why the problem seems to be getting worse. In this article, we’ll discuss the origin and practical solutions to overcome the mental health crisis that impacts us all, directly or indirectly.
Mental health issues are on the rise, but so is awareness
Even though more and more resources are being made available for people who struggle with mental health problems, the situation seems to be getting worse. Across the globe, more people are struggling with mental health problems than ever before.
One of the most obvious reasons can be attributed to the increasing demands of our society. People are working longer hours, taking on more stressful career paths, and the effects are taking a toll. Meanwhile, “Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes… [A] trend [that] may be partially due to increased use of electronic communication and digital media, which may have changed modes of social interaction enough to affect mood disorders.”
Meanwhile, there is a serious stigma associated with mental health disorders. Many people are hesitant to seek help regarding their mental health for fear of being judged or ostracized. This leads to a stark increase in the number of people who silently struggle with mental health issues.
Thankfully, mental health statistics are more widely available than ever before as more people report mental health concerns as a result of awareness and education initiatives. According to an NHS survey in England, people are learning more and more about the impact of mental health problems. As a result, they are more likely to recognize these issues in themselves and their loved ones –– leading to an increase in the reports and quantifiable data.
When will the mental health crisis end?
When you look at the mental health crisis in your local community and beyond, it can seem bleak at first. One might wonder if the crisis will end. Fortunately, we can all work together to help bring the crisis to an end and reverse its trajectory by taking a few simple steps.
Promote mental health awareness
One of the best ways that we can help slow and reverse the mental health crisis is by bringing awareness to mental health disorders. This can be done by openly discussing mental health with a positive attitude, and by sharing mental health problems with like-minded peers through local community groups, forums and meetups.
Seek and encourage counseling
While counseling isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution to the mental health crisis, it’s an important part of the solution. Encourage friends and family members to seek counseling if you feel they could benefit from it, and don’t hesitate to seek counseling on your own.
Educate yourself and others about mental health
The more knowledge that people have about mental health problems, the less likely they will be to succumb to negative outcomes. As a business owner, consider holding wellness seminars, bring in guest speakers, provide free and discounted mental health services for your team, and openly share your challenges so others feel comfortable doing the same. If you’re not familiar with mental illness and counseling in general, E-counseling resources are a good starting point.
It might seem like the mental health crisis is getting worse in our communities, but there are practical steps we can all take to improve it. Educating yourself and others, and promoting mental health awareness with a positive attitude can help to curb the problem and bring about positive change.
Craig Lebrau is the CMO of Media Insider, a Wyoming-based PR company that aims to disrupt the way companies communicate their brand in the digital era.
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