Let's All Be Aware
Monday 10th October 2011 marked World Mental Health Day. According to WHO, over 450 million people suffer from mental health disorders and many more suffer from some form of mental health problems. Mental health problems are common in all people, from various backgrounds, races, cultures, sexes and ages.
Approximately 10% of children have a mental health problem at any one time.
90% of prisoners have a mental health disorder.
25% of people will experience some form of mental health problems through the course of one year.
In the UK, 400 people per a 100,000 population self harm.
These figures raise more alarm than when we present figures to do with other health issues, such as heart disease or cancer. But why is this? Lack of awareness. The topic of mental health is something that is still seldom talked about despite living in such an advanced society. There is little difference between an illness due to physical health and an illness due to mental health.
There is one major misconception majority of today’s society holds. This is that people with mental health problems are ‘crazy’. But they are not, they are just unwell. We live through claims of being an aware society providing help for all, yet many young people are left with no option but to face tremendous difficulties alone. If one suspected they had an infection, they would not hesitate to go the doctor for some antibiotics. However, if one feels depressed or feels as if something is wrong, the social stigma prevents them from seeking help.
If it is not the social stigma that is preventing them, then it is the lack of awareness all round. Majority of society are unaware of the impacts of mental health problems on people. In turn, majority of people with worries about their own mental health are not sure where to turn to. This is especially the case within young people.
The goal of World Mental Health Day 2011 is to raise awareness. The theme is “The Great Push: Investing in Mental Health”. Everyone needs to speak out, from every background, every age, every race, every gender, everyone. The lack of understanding is a cause of many more problems people have with mental health.
This is a short article encouraging everyone to make a stand. Raise awareness, and provide help. Just as we would make hot soup for people with a cold, or run a race for someone with cancer, we can make a stand with people who suffer. We can show them that they are far from alone and there is help amidst the crowd.
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