World Mental Health Day

World Mental Health Day is celebrated annually 10 October to highlight global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. It was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organization with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. This day, each October, thousands of supporters come to celebrate this annual awareness program to bring attention to mental illness and its major effects on peoples’ life worldwide. In some countries this day is part of an awareness week, such as Mental Health Week in Australia.

Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the “psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment” From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve psychological resilience. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, inter-generational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others. The WHO further states that the well-being of an individual is encompassed in the realization of their abilities, coping with normal stresses of life, productive work and contribution to their community. Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how “mental health” is defined. A widely accepted definition of health by mental health specialists is psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud’s definition: the capacity “to work and to love”.

According to the U.S. surgeon general (1999), mental health is the successful performance of mental function, resulting in productive activities, fulfilling relationships with other people, and providing the ability to adapt to change and cope with adversity. The term mental illness refers collectively to all diagnosable mental disorders—health conditions characterized by alterations in thinking, mood, or behavior associated with distress or impaired functioning. A person struggling with their mental health may experience this because of stress, loneliness, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, death of a loved one, suicidal thoughts, grief, addiction, ADHD, various mood disorders, or other mental illnesses of varying degrees, as well as learning disabilities. Therapists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurse practitioners or physicians can help manage mental illness with treatments such as therapy, counseling, or medication.

Mental illnesses are more common than cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Over 26 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 meet the criteria for having a mental illness. Serious mental disorders affect an estimated 6 percent of the adult population, or approximately 1 in 17 people. A little more than half receive treatment. Evidence from the World Health Organization suggests that nearly half of the world’s population are affected by mental illness with an impact on their self-esteem, relationships and ability to function in everyday life. An individual’s emotional health can also impact physical health and poor mental health can lead to problems such as substance abuse. Maintaining good mental health is crucial to living a long and healthy life. Good mental health can enhance one’s life, while poor mental health can prevent someone from living an enriching life. According to Richards, Campania, & Muse-Burke, “There is growing evidence that is showing emotional abilities are associated with prosocial behaviors such as stress management and physical health. Their research also concluded that people who lack emotional expression are inclined to anti-social behaviors (e.g., drug and alcohol abuse, physical fights, vandalism), which are a direct reflection of their mental health and suppressed emotions.

Mental health can be seen as an unstable continuum, where an individual’s mental health may have many different possible values.[19] Mental wellness is generally viewed as a positive attribute, even if the person does not have any diagnosed mental health condition. This definition of mental health highlights emotional well-being, the capacity to live a full and creative life, and the flexibility to deal with life’s inevitable challenges. Some discussions are formulated in terms of contentment or happiness.[20] Many therapeutic systems and self-help books offer methods and philosophies espousing strategies and techniques vaunted as effective for further improving the mental wellness. Positive psychology is increasingly prominent in mental health.

A holistic model of mental health generally includes concepts based upon anthropological, educational, psychological, religious and sociological perspectives, as well as theoretical perspectives from personality, social, clinical, health and developmental psychology.

Another wellness model takes account of five life tasks—spirituality, work and leisure, friendship, love and self-direction—and twelve sub tasks—sense of worth, sense of control, realistic beliefs, emotional awareness and coping, problem solving and creativity, sense of humor, nutrition, exercise, self care, stress management, gender identity, and cultural identity, in order To determine healthy functioning and wellness. The components provide a means of responding to the circumstances of life in a manner that promotes healthy functioning.

The tripartite model of mental well-being views mental well-being as encompassing three components of emotional well-being, social well-being, and psychological well-being. Emotional well-being is defined as having high levels of positive emotions, whereas social and psychological well-being are defined as the presence of psychological and social skills and abilities that contribute to optimal functioning in daily life. The model has received empirical support across cultures. The Mental Health Continuum-Short Form (MHC-SF) is the most widely used scale to measure the tripartite model of mental well-being.

Mental health and stability is a very important factor in a person’s everyday life. Social skills, behavioural skills, and someone’s way of thinking are just some of the things that the human brain develops at an early age. Learning how to interact with others and how to focus on certain subjects are essential lessons to learn from the time we can talk all the way to when we are so old that we can barely walk. However, there are some people out there who have difficulty with these kind of skills and behaving like an average person. This is a most likely the cause of having a mental illness. A mental illness is a wide range of conditions that affect a person’s mood, thinking, and behavior. About 26% of people in the United States, ages 18 and older, have been diagnosed with some kind of mental disorder. However, not much is said about children with mental illnesses even though there are many that will develop one, even as early as age three.

The most common mental illnesses in children include, but are not limited to, ADHD, autism and anxiety disorder, as well as depression in older children and teens. Having a mental illness at a younger age is much different from having one in your thirties. Children’s brains are still developing and will continue to develop until around the age of twenty-five. When a mental illness is thrown into the mix, it becomes significantly harder for a child to acquire the necessary skills and habits that people use throughout the day. For example, behavioral skills don’t develop as fast as motor or sensory skills do. So when a child has an anxiety disorder, they begin to lack proper social interaction and associate many ordinary things with intense fear. This can be scary for the child because they don’t necessarily understand why they act and think the way that they do. Many researchers say that parents should keep an eye on their child if they have any reason to believe that something is slightly off.  If the children are evaluated earlier, they become more acquainted to their disorder and treating it becomes part of their daily routine.. This is opposed to adults who might not recover as quickly because it is more difficult for them to adapt.

Mental illness affects not only the person themselves, but the people around them. Friends and family also play an important role in the child’s mental health stability and treatment. Living with a mental disorder is never easy, so it’s always important to have people around to make the days a little easier. However, there are negative factors that come with the social aspect of mental illness as well. Parents are sometimes held responsible for their child’s own illness. People also say that the parents raised their children in a certain way or they acquired their behavior from them. Family and friends are sometimes so ashamed of the idea of being close to someone with a disorder that the child feels isolated and thinks that they have to hide their illness from others.When in reality, hiding it from people prevents the child from getting the right amount of social interaction and treatment in order to thrive in today’s society.

Stigma is also a well-known factor in mental illness. Stigma is defined as “a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality, or person.” Stigma is used especially when it comes to the mentally disabled. People have this assumption that everyone with a mental problem, no matter how mild or severe, is automatically considered destructive or a criminal person. Thanks to the media, this idea has been planted in our brains from a young age. Watching movies about teens with depression or children with Autism makes us think that all of the people that have a mental illness are like the ones on TV. In reality, the media displays an exaggerated version of most illnesses. Unfortunately, not many people know that, so they continue to belittle those with disorders. In a recent study, a majority of young people associate mental illness with extreme sadness or violence.Now that children are becoming more and more open to technology and the media itself, future generations will then continue to pair mental illness with negative thoughts. The media should be explaining that many people with disorders like ADHD and anxiety, with the right treatment, can live ordinary lives and should not be punished for something they cannot help.

A study was also carried out to  investigate the effects of suicide-related internet use on user’s suicidal thoughts, predisposition to depression and anxiety and loneliness. The study consisted of 850 internet users; the data was obtained by carrying out a questionnaire amongst the participants. This study found that browsing websites related to suicide, and methods used to commit suicide, had a negative effect on suicidal thoughts and increased depression and anxiety tendencies. The study concluded that as suicide-related internet use adversely affected the mental health of certain age groups it may be prudent to reduce or control their exposure to these websites. These findings certainly suggest that the internet can indeed have a profoundly negative impact on our mental health.Psychiatrist Thomas Szasz compared that 50 years ago children were either categorized as good or bad, and today “all children are good, but some are mentally healthy and others are mentally ill”. The social control and forced identity creation is the cause of many mental health problems among today’s children. A behaviour or misbehaviour might not be an illness but exercise of their free will and today’s immediacy in drug administration for every problem along with the legal over-guarding and regard of a child’s status as a dependent shakes their personal self and invades their internal growth.

Mental health is conventionally defined as a hybrid of absence of a mental disorder and presence of well-being. Focus is increasing on preventing mental disorders. Prevention is beginning to appear in mental health strategies, including the 2004 WHO report “Prevention of Mental Disorders”, the 2008 EU “Pact for Mental Health” and the 2011 US National Prevention Strategy. Prevention of a disorder at a young age may significantly decrease the chances that a child will suffer from a disorder later in life, and shall be the most efficient and effective measure from a public health perspective. Prevention may require the regular consultation of a physician to detect any signs that reveal any mental health concerns.

Mental health is a socially constructed and socially defined concept; that is, different societies, groups, cultures, institutions and professions have very different ways of conceptualizing its nature and causes, determining what is mentally healthy, and deciding what interventions, if any, are appropriate.[39] Thus, different professionals will have different cultural, class, political and religious backgrounds, which will impact the methodology applied during treatment.Research has shown that there is stigma attached to mental illness. In the United Kingdom, the Royal College of Psychiatrists organized the campaign Changing Minds (1998–2003) to help reduce stigma. Due to this stigma, responses to a positive diagnosis may be a display of denialism. Many mental health professionals understand, the importance of competency in religious diversity and spirituality. The American Psychological Association explicitly states that religion must be respected. Education in spiritual and religious matters is also required by the American Psychiatric Association.

Unemployment has been shown to have a negative impact on an individual’s emotional well-being, self-esteem and more broadly their mental health. Increasing unemployment has been show to have a significant impact on mental health, predominantly depressive disorders.In order to improve your emotional mental health, the root of the issue has to be resolved. “Prevention emphasizes the avoidance of risk factors; promotion aims to enhance an individual’s ability to achieve a positive sense of self-esteem, mastery, well-being, and social inclusion.It is very important to improve your emotional mental health by surrounding yourself with positive relationships. We as humans, feed off companionships and interaction with other people. Another way to improve your emotional mental health is participating in activities that can allow you to relax and take time for yourself. Yoga is a great example of an activity that calms your entire body and nerves.mindfulness is also considered to be a purposeful state,

Mental health care navigation helps to guide patients and families through the fragmented, often confusing mental health industries. Care navigators work closely with patients and families through discussion and collaboration to provide information on best therapies as well as referrals to practitioners and facilities specializing in particular forms of emotional improvement. The difference between therapy and care navigation is that the care navigation process provides information and directs patients to therapy rather than providing therapy. Still, care navigators may offer diagnosis and treatment planning. Though many care navigators are also trained therapists and doctors. Care navigation is the link between the patient and relevent therapies. A clear recognition that mental health requires medical intervention was demonstrated in a study by Kessler et al. of the prevalence and treatment of mental disorders from 1990 to 2003 in the United States.

Emotional mental disorders are a leading cause of disabilities worldwide. Investigating the degree and severity of untreated emotional mental disorders throughout the world is a top priority of the World Mental Health (WMH) survey initiative, which was created in 1998 by the World Health Organization (WHO). “Neuropsychiatric disorders are the leading causes of disability worldwide, accounting for 37% of all healthy life years lost through disease.These disorders are most destructive to low and middle-income countries due to their inability to provide their citizens with proper aid. Despite modern treatment and rehabilitation for emotional mental health disorders, “even economically advantaged societies have competing priorities and budgetary constraints”.

The World Mental Health survey initiative has suggested a plan for countries to redesign their mental health care systems to best allocate resources. “A first step is documentation of services being used and the extent and nature of unmet needs for treatment. A second step could be to do a cross-national comparison of service use and unmet needs in countries with different mental health care systems. Such comparisons can help to uncover optimum financing, national policies, and delivery systems for mental health care.”

Knowledge of how to provide effective emotional mental health care has become imperative worldwide. Unfortunately, most countries have insufficient data to guide decisions, absent or competing visions for resources, and near constant pressures to cut insurance and entitlements. World WMEntal Health surveys were done in Africa (Nigeria, South Africa), the Americas (Colombia, Mexico, United States), Asia and the Pacific (Japan, New Zealand, Beijing and Shanghai in the People’s Republic of China), Europe (Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Ukraine), and the middle east (Israel, Lebanon). Countries were classified with World Bank criteria as low-income (Nigeria), lower middle-income (China, Colombia, South Africa, Ukraine), higher middle-income (Lebanon, Mexico), and high-income.These surveys assessed the frequency, types, and adequacy of mental health service use in 17 countries in which WMH surveys are complete. The WMH also examined unmet needs for treatment in strata defined by the seriousness of mental disorders. research showed that “the number of respondents using any 12-month mental health service was generally lower in developing than in developed countries, and the proportion receiving services was greater in developed countries.

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