Human beings are composed of many different elements. Several factors influence our well-being—one of them being our mental health. Our mental health depends on several external and internal factors. Circumstances such as stress, abuse, and neglect can severely bring our mental health down. Unfortunately, today’s modern economy severely downplays the importance of mental health only because it hinders productivity. It has an indefinite recovery period. However, the stigmas surrounding mental health need to end. Or else we will end up paying a hefty sum in the form of human lives.
The stigmas surrounding mental health need to end. The only way to tackle these issues is to talk about them.
What Is Mental Health?
Mental health refers to the behavioral, physical, cognitive, and emotional well-being of a person. When talking about an affected mental-well-being, it indicates the presence of a mental disorder. A mental illness is an umbrella term for describing various mental issues. A few common problems that come under mental disorders are depression, bipolar disorder, dementia, and schizophrenia.
Psychological disorders hinder the way a person acts and behaves in a society. Instability brings chaos into the community, and a disordered society ends up collapsing. Mental health disorders now more than ever need to be addressed. As a society, we cannot continue to progress, leaving these areas unattended.
Ways to Address Mental Health Issues
Mental health is a sensitive topic. Addressing it requires caution and extreme patience. There are several ways to tackle these taboos, such as:
- Talk About Mental Health. One of the most prominent reasons mental health is suffering neglect is the lack of awareness. Most people don’t know what mental health is and why it needs addressing. The lack of understanding is also one reason why many people remain untreated and spend many years wondering why they are the way they are.
Professionals such as psychologists with a degree such as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology online, which is easily obtainable, can help talk about these issues. They can even inform people about the derogatory terms used in describing this illness and the people affected by them and the appropriate words in talking about them. The awareness will educate people and make them more empathetic towards mental health concerns.
- Talk About It in the Media. The media holds a very centralized and influential position in society. Go on news channels, social media pages and write to network producers. Inform them how their prejudices and an attempt to create compelling storylines are doing more damage than good. Make public posts with educated opinions and facts on mental health issues. Include those with personal blogs on their mental health journeys in your public posts. Social media is one of the practical tools in connecting with people and educating them.
- Let Patients Come Forward. If someone you know in a personal capacity wants to share their problems with you, let them. Your job is to make them comfortable enough to talk about it without speaking for them or alienating them. If you have a communication studies degree, you may utilize it to create a blog to reach a broader audience. Once they feel comfortable enough to talk, guide them towards professional help to facilitate them with the right tools and knowledge.
- Continue Educating Yourself. Don’t let societal induced stigmas cloud your judgment. Ask and read about mental health issues as much as you can. Choose reliable books and medical researches published by reputable institutes. Keep questions open-minded and ask wherever you feel confused without assuming information on your own.
You can also include children in your conversations by telling stories using appropriate terminology and telling them how it’s okay not to be okay. Remove the shame surrounding mental health and empower people to talk about it.
Ask video creators to create simulations to help people visualize even better what each disorder looks like and how it’s difficult for them to live with them. It becomes easier to conceptualize the disorder’s extent through visual learning and develop compassion and empathy when talking to these patients. It also helps patients get understood, and they no longer feel as if they weren’t a part of society.
- Encourage Equality Between Physical and Mental Health Issues. Society is very concerned about physical ailments. Physical wounds are cared for with patients immediately going to hospitals, using physical well-being as an analogy. Talk about how mental disorders are invisible wounds. Bring different companies on board and emphasize how part of the employee wellness program is essential to their mental health. You may encourage them to include psychologists on their panel and encourage employees to apply for therapy sessions and ask for leaves.
- Understand Each Disorder Is Different. Certain disorders need more help. Their treatment and prognosis are more complicated than that of a patient-therapist setting. Work with hospitals to appeal to the government to include mental health as a part of the health sector and provide appropriate funding. Provide proper facilities for institutionalizing these patients. Hire psychologists with updated training on mental health. Be more patient and empathetic with these patients as they’re already vulnerable, and working towards a better life is complicated.
Mental health still has a long way to go. The stigma and shame surrounding its discussion have placed its progress decades behind. The only way to tackle these issues is to talk about them. Education is the only resource that will connect people. We cannot help what we don’t know. Inform people that society comprises many people, and some people need more help and assistance than others. Encourage dialoguing and websites dedicated to discussing mental health issues.
Mainstream treatment and mental health hospitals should dedicate large-scale departments to psychology. Start early and encourage schools to introduce mental health as a proper subject. Communities can help each other. The more we act as a united front and work towards removing stigmas, we will only see a positive change. Help society gain its momentum once again.
Are you taking care of your mental health?
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