Mental health issues deserve more recognition


It can be seen all around you. A boy tapping his foot a certain number of times for no apparent reason. A woman secluding herself because she has lost interest in doing things. A teen reluctant to even touch a steering wheel after a car crash. Mental health issues affect the lives of many.

Mental health issues are not exactly exclusive to anyone. According to the World Health Organization, one in four people are affected by mental disorders. Anyone ranging from your family, friends, neighbors, classmates, and coworkers could be affected by them, and you’d never know. Living with these disorders takes a heavy toll on their daily lives.

Coping with mental health issues can be near impossible depending on what conditions or situations a certain individual is in. Those who don’t have a steady income or are relatively poor will not be able to seek out professional help and will end up having to carry a massive burden around with them all day.

The type of mental health problem comes into play as well. Those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder may have to deal with intrusive thoughts or compulsions; someone dealing with an anxiety disorder could be constantly worried about school or other events in their lives.

Just recently, the Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health released a report showing how millions of people experiencing trouble with mental health issues have been ignored. Only one in 27 people with depression living in developing countries are able to get ahold of proper treatment. On the other hand, one in five people with depression living in wealthier countries received help. The report states that all countries are very far behind in assisting these people and changes have to be made.

I found this information to be quite shocking. When such a vast amount of people are affected by mental illness, why aren’t people receiving assistance? Apparently, it is due to the fact that different governments have been using their funding to deal with different diseases. I think that one possible solution to this issue could be for independent institutions to begin offering help to those in need. Help could be offered at a cheaper cost, or they could organize charity events to raise money to help individuals. Even though this could take up lots of time and money, if enough people participated, it could be possible.

It really just comes down to those willing to help or deal with these issues in the end. When we live in a world where social media and the internet dominate many of our lives, shouldn’t more awareness and aid be spread?