A Wider Lens Is Needed to Treat Those With Mental Illness

Simon Blake

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place this week with World Mental Health Day on Wednesday 10th October. 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.

World Mental Health Day is an annual event created to promote worldwide mental health education, awareness and advocacy, particularly against the social stigma that many people with mental health issues face.

Tomorrow, October 10, is Mental Health Day - a day recognised by the World Health Organisation.

The WHO explained: 'Adolescence and the early years of adulthood are a time of life when many changes occur, for example changing schools, leaving home, and starting university or a new job.

The online survey conducted by The Harris Poll also revealed that 42 percent of employees say they have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder by a healthcare professional, indicating the need for mental health services in the workplace.

Shockingly, this lack of employer support has led to an average of 8.4 sick days taken each year, per employee, due to a mental health problem.

TV presenter Anna Richardson and former Labour spin doctor and author Alastair Campbell feature in the campaign among others who have faced mental health difficulties.

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"I think it does [encourage people who are not feeling well to ask for help]". Actually, those suffering from mental illnesses are more often the victims of violence, withdrawn, frightened, and/or lonely. The risk factors for mental disorders are well established, and substantial progress has been made in developing effective interventions for such problems.

This week marks National Mental Illness Awareness Week, a week established by Congress in 1990 to put the spotlight on a subject not talked about almost enough.

The psychologist said nearly all human beings have the potential to develop mental health problems at one point or the other, "no matter how old, whether male or female, rich or poor, or the ethnic group they belong to".

In the DHCC, close to 30 clinical partners offer services in mental health issues that affect children and adults alike. Once referred, individuals will meet with a Healthy Active Minds instructor for an initial consultation where goals, motivation and support requirements are discussed to enable them to become physically active. He says, "There is so much of pressure on the institution to complete academics that mental health may not feature in the agenda".

Based on the PHQ9 and GAD7 questionnaires commonly used to diagnose and measure the severity of anxiety and depression, where early clinical assessments are in place, 88% of patients show improvements in their condition after just a four-month period of tailored support and therapy from RedArc. Why is it that while most of us feel quite confident talking to family and friends about our physical aches and pains, we are not so comfortable to talk about our mental health? Society has always conditioned us to believe that mental health issues are a stigma and that they can't be spoken about.

It is estimated that 23 per cent of people living with a diagnosable mental health condition are not receiving the help they need. If you are concerned about a friend or family member's mental health, the best way to help is to listen, or to open up a conversation where that person feels they could talk to you if they wanted.

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