The Mental Health Crisis: A Silent Epidemic
Open any magazine or newspaper and you’ll be led to believe that as a nation, our physical health is floundering.
More and more people are overweight and contracting life-threatening illnesses while we continue to obsess over improving our well-being and fitness in order to combat these things.
But what about the other aspect of our health that people aren’t so confident with talking about?
We are open about almost all aspects of our physical health.
If we have a headache or a tummy ache, we have no issue sharing that information with our friends and family, so why are we so apprehensive to discuss what’s going on in our heads?
In short, why has mental health problems become a silent epidemic?
So, you’re probably reading this and thinking, epidemic?
Seems like a bit of an exaggeration.
Are we really facing an epidemic when it comes to mental health?
The statistics seem to think so.
Sure, we still need to be concerned about heart and liver diseases, but mental health is still one of the main disease burdens worldwide.
Mental health now affects 1 in 4 people and it is the second leading cause of disability worldwide.
It is also one of the main factors contributing to increasing suicide rates.
Why are people reluctant to talk about it?
Poor mental health is unavoidable, but sadly a lot of people don’t see it that way.
While you’d never tell someone with a heart condition or cancer to get over it, this kind of attitude seems fine when directed at someone who is struggling with their mental health.
This kind of treatment towards the issue is resulting in people feeling afraid to speak out about what it is that’s bothering them.
There is also an attitude that struggling with your mental health denotes weakness, which can be a problem, especially for men.
Statistics have revealed that almost 40% of men don’t want to discuss their mental health with anyone, which goes some way to explaining why it has become a silent epidemic.
What can be done?
The most important thing that needs to be done is to destroy the negative stigma that is attached to mental health.
Open discussions go some way to doing this, as it makes people who are struggling feel as though those around them care.
It’s also necessary to recognise that a lot of the problems people struggle with are experienced by everyone, for example stress and anxiety.
Normalising these issues will make people feel much more confident when it comes to talking about their problems.