The Recognition Of Mental Health Problems
It cannot be said that mental health issues are on the rise. That would be like saying that mental health issues were not as prevalent in the past as compared to present day. How can that be? Mental health issues were present from the beginning of time: they were just not recognized and addressed as much as they are now. What is on the rise is the recognition of mental health problems.
What is happening is that the stigma of mental health is slowly crumbling, resulting in more people feeling comfortable reporting their troubles and concerns. More people are seeking help, making it look like mental health issues are on the rise. And even if depression, anxiety and other disorders are on the rise, their increase is probably very small compared to the rise in recognition of mental health problems.
Many children in the United States are currently experiencing suicidal ideation and completion much more than previous decades. So it can be naturally concluded that if suicide rates are increasing, that depression must be increasing as well. After all, depression is a huge contributing factor behind suicide completion.
What is also increasing is the awareness of mental health problems. The media is also reporting more often on this topic and celebrities are coming out to admit to their struggles with mental illness. This is very good for the entire world, because awareness is what is going to motivate more people to come out and talk about their mental health concerns.
Education about mental health is also increasing. High schools, universities and post-graduate programs are starting to provide more resources centered around mental health for students. Society is starting to realize that education is key in order to prevent people from suffering in the shadows. Many people lack an education about mental health, causing them to bury their symptoms out of fear of ridicule and shame.
Overall, the stigma of mental health is slowly starting to vanish, and the awareness and education about mental health is on the rise. What we need to continue doing is spreading as much recognition, validation and awareness about mental health problems: we cannot allow people to fall behind in the trenches.
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)