Even with the prevalence of mental health problems and the fact that the topic is currently in the spotlight, it is astounding that we are still not doing enough to educate people on the same. It is even worse that people still tend to stigmatize it. Many people have lots of mental health conceptions, and this has contributed to the growing problem.
Educating people on mental health can have a significant positive impact on the existing crisis, and this is how.
Education starts in the home first
As the phrase goes, ‘education begins at home,’ and the same applies to mental health. Mental health stigma and lack of awareness and understanding are the main reasons why people do not recognize when they are mentally unstable, especially when it comes to schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The first step towards a mentally stable community is by educating people on the dangers of mental health problems and how they can recognize if they have a mental illness. For example, they will learn the signs of anxiety, depression, and other mental instabilities. With this, it will be easier for people to know when they are suffering from these illnesses or when a friend or relative is depressed or dealing with mental health issues. People are more likely to seek help when they can recognize the problem. Also, through education, they will learn that mental health is not a taboo, and with this, they are more likely to open up whenever they are faced with hard situations.
People will learn how to avoid mental health problems
The other way to promote a mentally healthy community is through prevention. The only way to do so is by teaching people how to live healthier lives when young, so they can avoid developing complications when they grow older. Mental health problems are mainly connected with our lifestyles. Teaching people how to remain positive and overcome life stress is the key to maintaining mental health.
The mental health patients and people around them often start noticing minor changes in their behaviors before realizing that they have a mental illness. For example, in the case of depression, you may start feeling overwhelmed, stressed, moody, and irritated. You may also experience loss of appetite and sleep. You start withdrawing yourself from friends, and all you want is to spend time alone. You may also lose focus and become less productive. However, unless you have the knowledge to determine when you are depressed, you might live with the issue for the longest time, and before you know it, it is already causing irreversible harm.
Learning about the early warning symptoms of mental illness and taking action helps a lot. It reduces the severity of the problem, and if you recognize the illness early enough, you will be able to take the necessary actions to prevent it.
People should be knowledgeable in case they find themselves where they, a friend or family member is dealing with mental illness. It is the high time for society to start taking mental health education seriously and let us say not mental health misconceptions and stigma.
Interesting and informative article. There were several things here that I was not aware of.