Mental health and substance use disorders affect 13% of the world’s population, that is approximately 970 million people that are living with a problem affecting their psychological well-being. Regrettably, only half of those people will get the help they so desperately need.
This year 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health condition such as anxiety, depression, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), panic attacks or OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Around 40% will also be abusing substances – drugs and alcohol, often in an effort to self-medicate or manage symptoms.
The pandemic, the lockdowns and the continued stress surrounding the virus, and the impact it has had on so many lives – physical, emotional, and financial – has meant an overall increase in all these conditions, and individuals who have needed access to vital healthcare services have found themselves struggling, isolated and alone. Even now when restrictions have mostly been lifted, experts worldwide say we haven’t yet seen the full extent of the damage caused, and we will be experiencing the repercussions for many more years to come.
Now more than ever we need to be able to openly talk about mental health, who it affects, what it means and what we can do, as individuals and as a society, to help those in need.
The 3rd of February is Time to Talk Day 2022. The campaign, run in the UK by the charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness, in association with See Me and SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) in Scotland, Time to Change Wales and by Inspire and Change Your Mind in Northern Ireland, is a chance to get the nation talking about mental health.
The charity Mind says, “It’s the day that friends, families, communities, and workplaces come together to talk, listen and change lives.” The aim is to break down the stereotypes that surround mental illness, improve relationships and recovery, and take the stigma out of something that can affect anyone, at any time.
The state of our psychological health has an impact on every part of how we live. It colours our emotional outlook, affects how we look after our physical health and needs and has an influence on all our relationships – with loved ones, friends, and the people that we mix with at work or school.
One of the biggest issues with mental health illnesses and disorders is that they often leave the person suffering in isolation. This means too many individuals are not getting the assistance they require. This could be because of fear, embarrassment, or they are just not aware that support is available. It can be incredibly difficult to admit that there is something wrong in the first place, and then it takes huge courage to speak up.
A lot of this is down to the stigma attached to mental illness in the past – 100 years ago individuals struggling would be packed off to the sanatorium and locked up indefinitely – and people are still reticent about revealing that there is something wrong with them afraid they could be judged as weak or crazy.
In addition to all these factors, for some, it is a symptom of the untreated disease itself that pushes the sufferer to cut themselves off from the world and people they love.
The single most favoured technique or approach to dealing with most mental health issues is talking. Whether that is in a professional setting with a therapist or counsellor, on a one-to-one basis, or in a group with others experiencing similar problems, by attending fellowship peer group meetings, or by simply reaching out and speaking with friends, a loved one or even a colleague.
Campaigns including Time to Talk; World Mental Health Day supported by WHO and the World Federation for Mental Health; Heads Up which saw Heads Together the Royals charity and the FA partnering; and #Be the mate you’d want by Dave (the TV channel) and CALM (the Campaign Against Living Miserably); all aim to raise awareness of mental health and encourage positive conversations around the topic. And they appear to work, with 25% of the population asked, saying it has reduced the associated stigma.
Mental health refers to intellectual, developmental, and emotional well-being. A mental health illness, sometimes referred to as a disorder, can disrupt your thoughts, feelings, and behaviours.
Some of the most common illnesses include –
There are many more, and all of them can range from being occasionally or mildly disruptive to a person’s life, through to having a serious daily impact, and can cause individuals to self-harm, abuse substances and attempt suicide.
Here are just a few of the things to look out for if you think someone you love is struggling with a mental health problem.
If you recognise one or more of these symptoms either in yourself or in someone you are close to, or if someone you love is acting erratically and out of character, then talk to them, ask them how they are feeling, try and start a conversation and if in doubt seek professional advice.
Are you worried about your mental health? Or maybe it is someone you love?
Here at the luxury residential rehab centre in Ibiza, we offer a range of therapies suitable for the treatment of depression, anxiety, substance abuse, eating disorders, compulsive and addictive behaviours, and other co-occurring mental health conditions.
Our highly qualified team of doctors, therapists and counsellors use a carefully designed program, which includes individual and group therapy, transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), EMDR and equine-assisted therapy.
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