Importance of Mental Health Awareness in Youth

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Each year, 13% of children, 46% of teenagers, and 19% of adults experience mental illness. According to the most recent Statistics of the World’s Children report, released by UNICEF, at least 13% of individuals between the ages of 10 and 19 worldwide live with a diagnosed mental health issue. This organization’s flagship report is the first to address the difficulties and possibilities associated with preventing and treating mental health issues in young people. Adolescent mental health is shown to be extremely complicated, understudied, and underfunded. People who are battling with their mental health may be members of your family, neighbours, teachers, coworkers, or sit in the same place near to you. However, only half of the people affected, receive treatment, frequently as a result of the stigma associated with mental health. Untreated, mental illness can contribute to higher medical expenses, poorer performance at school and work, fewer employment opportunities and increased risk of suicide. Anxiety and depression constitute more than 40% of mental-health disorders among young people UNICEF also reports that, worldwide, suicide is the fourth most common cause of death (after road injuries, tuberculosis and interpersonal violence) among adolescents (aged 15–19). Sadly, there seems to be an increase in young people’s psychological discomfort. According to one study, the prevalence of depression among US teenagers (ages 12 to 17) in a nationally representative sample increased from 8.5% of young people to 13.2% between 2005 and 2017.

Talking about mental health, there must be a clear introduction to the term “Mental Illness”. A mental illness is a physical illness of the brain that causes disturbances in thinking, behavior, energy, or emotion that make it difficult to cope with the ordinary demands of life. Research is starting to uncover the complicated causes of these diseases which can include genetics, brain chemistry, brain structure, experiencing trauma and/or having another medical condition, like heart disease. Studies show that the stigma against mental illness is still strong, in large part because of media stereotypes and a lack of education and that people tend to associate mental health conditions with negative stigmas at a much higher rate than they do with other illnesses and disabilities, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. Stigma has an impact on both the number of people seeking treatment and the number of resources available for effective care. Someone who is coping with a mental health problem may feel like they are facing impassable barriers due to stigma and false information. Here are some effective actions you may take to assist: Showing individuals respect and acceptance removes a significant barrier to successfully coping with their illness. Having people see you as an individual and not as your illness can make the biggest difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health. Advocating within our circles of influence helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other members of your church, school and community. Learning more about mental health allows us to provide helpful support to those affected in our families and communities.

 

At best, embracing the premise that “mental illness is like any other medical ailment” will simplify a complicated human issue; at worst, this will do patients, their families, and the mental health community great damage. Our conversation should take into account the general complexity of human thinking, behaviour, memories, and the concept of self and consciousness, as well as knowledge from cutting-edge biogenetic and social science research, while also paying attention to the particular complexity that each of us as individuals carries as part of our unique life stories. Both individuals who receive services and those who provide them agree with this. Therefore, in order to understand, explain, and treat mental disorders, we should continue to have a social and professional conversation where we find a proper place for neurobiology, social, cultural, and environmental forces, personal histories, and the uniqueness of each individual while avoiding a simplistic reductionism that may be seen at best as patronizing but ultimately harmful, despite the intentions being noble. We suggest that future anti-stigma initiatives abandon the claim that “mental illness is like any other medical ailment” and instead emphasise the uniqueness of mental illness as well as the positive qualities that have been covered here. These campaigns need to take into account new knowledge that is developing in the fields of recovery, early intervention, and positive mental health in addition to the knowledge that service providers, scientists, and service users have gathered over time. It would be equally vital for doctors to accept scientifically supported explanatory models of mental illness, including those based on biogenetic, social, and cultural factors, as well as those provided to them by the very persons they are attempting to help.

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