Building better mental health is the need of the hour
Mental health is not a destination but a process. It is about how you drive, not where you are going.
How many of us really look after our mental health?
Mental health is important because it’s a vital part of our lives and impacts our thoughts, behaviors, and emotions. Being healthy emotionally and mentally can promote productivity and effectiveness in activities like work, school, or caregiving.
Mental health refers to cognitive, behavioral, and emotional well-being. It is all about how people think, feel, and behave.
It is an integral and essential component of health. The WHO states: “A state of well-being in which the individual realizes his or her own abilities, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to his or her community”. According to WHO, mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”
Mental health is determined by a range of socioeconomic, biological, and environmental factors. There are specific psychological and personality factors that make people vulnerable to mental health problems. Biological risks include genetic factors.
Poor mental health is also associated with rapid social change, stressful work conditions, gender discrimination, social exclusion, unhealthy lifestyle, physical ill-health, and human rights violations.
Mental health promotion involves actions that improve psychological well-being. This may involve creating an environment that supports mental health.
An environment that respects and protects basic civil, political, socio-economic, and cultural rights is fundamental to mental health. Without the security and freedom provided by these rights, it is difficult to maintain a high level of mental health.
Everyone has some risk of developing a mental health disorder, no matter their age, sex, income, or ethnicity.
However, due to ignorance on this subject, mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Evidence suggests that 450 million people worldwide have some mental illness. Depression ranks fourth among the top 10 leading causes of disease worldwide. By 2029, mental illness is predicted to become the leading cause of disease worldwide. Women are more likely to have a mental illness than men. One million people commit suicide every year and 10 to 20 million attempts it. A World Health Organization (WHO) report estimates the global cost of mental illness at nearly $2.5 trillion (two-thirds in indirect costs) in 2010, with a projected increase to over $6 trillion by 2030.
Good mental health can improve life quality whereas poor mental health can worsen it.
Mental health is an integral part of health; indeed, there is no health without mental health.
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