Social Issues

  • Author Sherisa Khan
  • Published December 31, 2022
  • Word count 2,218

Most often in the world's poorer, more rural nations, people's mental health is disregarded or overlooked. Our mental health is influenced by our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects the thoughts, emotions, and behaviors we have. It also affects our decision-making, interpersonal interactions, and stress management. Every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence to adulthood, requires good mental health. Since mental health affects how we feel, think, and act as well as how we handle stress, interact with others, and make decisions, ignoring an individual's mental health will affect the next generation, their job or academics, daily routines, relationships with others, and a variety of other activities in their daily life. Particularly considering how many people it affects and how many of them endure their suffering in silence to avoid hearing the ignorant remarks or judgments of others.

According to WHO (June 2022), a mental disorder is characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual’s cognition, emotional regulation, or behavior. It is typically linked to distress or functional impairment in key areas. Mental illness is another name for a mental disorder. Additionally, it was mentioned that there are various types and/or manifestations of mental illness. Some of these are Anxiety Disorders, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Schizophrenia, Eating Disorders, Disruptive behavior, dissociative disorders, and Neurodevelopmental disorders. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant increase in the number of people who suffer from major depressive disorder and anxiety. Although there are effective prevention and treatment options, the majority of those who suffer from mental disorders cannot get the help they need. Stigma, prejudice, and human rights violations affect a large number of people. In the 2019 WHO survey, it was discovered that adolescents and young children were now the groups of people who experienced mental health problems in significant numbers. WHO went on to emphasize that both genetics and traumatic experiences can contribute to mental health disorders. However, even though some people face much more challenging conditions (like poverty, violence, disability, and inequality), some people may be mentally capable. The quality of the treatment that is currently available does not match the amount of care that people with mental illnesses need. Mentally ill people require not only medical treatment but also assistance in developing and maintaining personal, family, and social relationships, as well as assistance in educational programs, employment, housing, and participation in other meaningful activities.

The American Psychiatric Association (August 2018) stated that it is inevitable that mental illnesses can be treated and even improved upon. Even so, some individuals recover to their former levels of functioning, and some mental illnesses are even curable. Sometimes, depending on the circumstance, a depressed or anxious mood may be normal; however, if the person continues to act in distress or becomes unable to carry out daily tasks, they should seek medical help. A thorough evaluation that includes a physical examination, blood work, and/or neurological tests is necessary for a proper mental health diagnosis, the speaker continued, because some mental illnesses are linked to or mimic medical conditions. Different cultural groups have different ways of expressing their mental health issues, and because society rejects and disapproves of those who have mental illnesses, many people would rather suffer in silence than get help.

How we can address mental health in the Caribbean is outlined in the blog post on NESTA by Bhavik Doshi (13 November 2017). He stated that a combination of cultural, economic, social, and political factors is some of the main causes of the long-standing neglect of mental health in the Caribbean region. Issues like unemployment, income inequality, and poverty were made more likely by a person's socioeconomic status to become the main causes of mental health decline. He also emphasized the underdeveloped state of the mental health industry in the Caribbean, which receives only 4.3% of the total healthcare budget. Due to shared cultural norms and values as well as differences, people of Indian, African, and Chinese descent are susceptible to mental health problems regardless of their gender, age, sex, race, or religion. He emphasized further that cultural change is necessary to address the social stigma and taboos that still exist in the Caribbean regarding mental health. It is also evidently stated that Suriname and Guyana are the two countries with the highest suicide rate in the Caribbean, and this is from a background of mental health issues such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or depression, as suicide is the usual reaction of mentally ill persons, thus it is directly linked to mental health issues.

According to the article on Science Daily, written by Penn State (July 2018), "poor mental health may cost businesses nearly as much as physical health problems, according to researchers." "A single extra day of poor mental health in a month was linked to a 1.84 percent drop in the per capita real income growth rate, resulting in $53 billion less total income each year." The cost of mental health is anticipated to be $16 trillion globally over the next 20 years, which is greater than the cost of any noncommunicable disease, according to the researchers. Additionally, it was mentioned that this issue will disproportionately impact rural nations, which will have an impact on their ability to compete and develop their economies. One idea for lowering the economic costs of poor mental health, especially in "harder-hit rural countries," is to invest in mental health resources.

Some people who suffer from mental illness can function to the point where they can work and perform daily tasks, while others are unable to do either. People who are incapable of carrying out any kind of work or regular tasks depend on financial aid from the government or another source to meet their basic needs. However, they are frequently admitted to mental health facilities, and the government covers the cost of their care. But recently, 70% of these asylums—particularly in the less developed, rural nations—have reached their maximum capacity. Those who can function to work, on the other hand, can only work for a limited time before reaching their "limit." This is when their traumas resurface, and they become depressed and unproductive for an extended period until they can get back on their feet. This can be detrimental to the economy because productivity is not as consistent as it should be.

It has also been observed that people laugh at other people's trauma and tend to compare it to their own. Many people are unaware that regardless of the situation, different people feel and react to each situation differently. According to an MHA article, “No one type of trauma is “worse” than another." You can even experience the same type of trauma—or even the same event—as someone else and have different reactions to it. "If something hurts you, it hurts, and your natural emotional reaction is valid.” Trauma is classified into two types: "Little T" trauma and "Big T" trauma. The Big T trauma categorizes events such as abuse, whereas the Little T trauma categorizes events such as moving out of town. Even though Little T trauma appears to be less serious than Big T trauma, it can accumulate and cause just as much distress as any major event. For example, one person's trauma may be losing a toy, while another person's trauma may be being abused; the first person's trauma may appear less troublesome or serious than the other person's trauma, but they both cause distress or the same reaction. Because of other people's misunderstandings and poor judgment, "just because your trauma doesn't seem as serious doesn't mean you're seriously mentally affected." This ignorance is why people tend to stay hidden and hide from society, suffering more rather than seeking the help they deserve, which leads to them becoming more mentally ill and can lead to the worst-case scenario of suicide.

Rejecting someone who is mentally ill from society weakens them. They experience a loss of self-worth and a fall in self-esteem as a result, which causes them to spiral further into depression. This person receives no assistance from it; instead, it makes them suicidal and convinces them that there is no point in continuing to live. Particularly when someone confides in us and starts to open up about how they feel and we dismiss them or act as if it doesn't matter, it only encourages them to repress their emotions and withdraw from society while on the inside, they are slowly dying. As a result, they may commit suicide. As a result, when you disregard someone else's mental health, you alienate them and aggravate their condition. This would increase the county's suicide rate, which would have an impact on population growth. Other citizens also experience self-consciousness when they witness people being shunned by society and treated like outcasts. Humans need mental and emotional health to be healthy, so if these conditions are not met, it will affect the country's growing population by increasing the number of mentally ill people, which will reduce productivity and unity in the population. Additionally, the nation's suicide rate will inevitably rise as a result of this.

Because of the increase in the number of mentally ill people and citizens' disregard for other people's mental health, they have gone untreated for a long time, and their trauma has grown on them, putting a strain on the country's economy. There will be a greater demand for medications, trained personnel to care for the mentally ill, and more mental institutions to care for these mentally ill people. Because of the high demand, the government will have to invest more money in the health sector, affecting economic growth. Also, the population is becoming more mentally ill as a result of citizens' failure to pay attention to other people. This affects population productivity, affects the workforce, and results in a GDP drop. The country's economy and chances of becoming one of the world's wealthy nations are both greatly impacted by this decline in GDP.

Raising awareness of mental illness and how to help those who are mentally ill is the best way to tackle this problem. Introduce programs to inform people about mental illness, the various types of mental illness, how to recognize a person who is mentally ill, and what we can do to help that person. These programs should be specifically introduced in secondary schools because adolescents are present there, and as we all know, adolescence is the time in our lives when we start to mature and start to view life differently as we get ready for adulthood. Our teens will have the knowledge they need to help us overcome this social issue if secondary schools start offering mental health programs because they are the next generation. Because of this, when they are young adults or older and come into contact with a mentally ill person, they will know better than to reject them and instead will know how to help these people get the necessary medical care. 80% of the time, when we interact with someone who is mentally ill, that person is unaware that they are mentally ill. Furthermore, since society stigmatizes them and refers to them as "mad people," these people are either ashamed to admit their illness or reject the idea that they are mentally ill. Therefore, rather than informing someone that they have a mental illness, try to earn their trust by showing that you care about them and encouraging them to talk to you about their traumatic experiences, no matter how silly they may seem. When the time is right, urge them to consult a therapist. Informing them of the signs and symptoms of mental illness will help them understand how their everyday experiences are actually symptoms. Gaining their trust and letting them confide in you will help them realize that you won't treat them any differently, which will encourage them to listen to you and seek the necessary mental health treatment. People receive psychological support and a reason to live when we show them that we care about them and are available to them. Additionally, this will benefit the economy by boosting productivity and the population by boosting cohesion and strength, and the nation's suicide rate will significantly drop. Because mental illness is caused not only by traumatic events but is also genetically transmitted, the government can also help with this social problem by passing legislation prohibiting the stigmatization of mentally ill people. They can also assist by training police officers on how to deal with mentally ill people.

Instead of being a simple illness that can be treated with medication and get better, mental health disorders are more complex than that and require that the affected person receive therapy as well as love and support from others. It is the illness that has an impact on our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, as well as how we handle stress, relate to others and make decisions. All of this could be avoided, though, if there had never been a stigmatizing or traumatic event. Change must begin with us, the other citizens, if the rate of mental illness is to change. The time has come to stop rejecting or ignoring those who are mentally ill and instead accept them and help them as best we can. Let’s do the right thing and make the world a better place.

Published by:

Sherisa Khan


My name is Sherisa Khan and I am currently 16 years old. I am currently studying in University.


Article source:
This article has been viewed 170 times.

Rate article

This article has a 5 rating with 5 votes.

Article comments

Eera · 2 months ago
Thanks Lovely

Related articles