Mental health cases are on the rise across the world, raising a slew of concerns on the factors that trigger it, and prompting discussions on the stigma associated with mental disorders.
In the United Kingdom, Business in the Community (BITC) reports that mental health is still very much enclosed in a culture of silence and shame in British workplaces. In a survey of 20,000 people, three out of four said they had experienced indications of poor mental health at one point in their lives, the Guardian reports.
The impact on business is massive, costing employers around 26 billion pounds ($31 billion) per year, reports the Centre for Mental Health. Of this, 8 billion pounds ($9 billion) could be saved by employers taking simple steps to prevent and manage mental health in their offices.
In Pakistan, experts are calling for the government to take action on the country’s rising mental health problems. In a meeting of psychiatrists and psychologists, the causes of mental health illnesses include emotional, social and economic disparities, gender inequalities, and lack of access to health and education facilities.
Professor Syed Mohammad Sultan, president of the Pakistan Psychiatry Society, said that 50% of children in the province of Peshawar alone have symptoms of mental health problems. There are only three child psychiatry departments in the entire Pakistan, encouraging experts to come up with suggestions on changes that can be implemented to address the need, Science World Report says.
In India, at least 13.7% of the general population has different mental health disorders, The Hindu reports, 10.6% of which require immediate attention. These were some of the findings of a large-scale National Mental Health Survey conducted by the nation’s National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS).
The survey found that mental health issues were prevalent in urban areas, particularly schizophrenia, mood disorders, and stress-related or neurotic problems. These can be attributed to fast-paced lifestyles, stress and the complexities of modern life, economic instability and a breakdown of support systems.
The study involved 34,802 participants and covered all aspects of mental illness, such as substance abuse, depression, anxiety, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress disorder, among many others. The same report showed that because of the stigma associated with mental disorders, close to 80% of those with mental disorders had not received treatment in over a year, due largely in part to poor implementation of National Mental Health Programme schemes.
The Guardian recommends that people educate themselves on mental health to break down the barriers that prevent others from getting the help they need. It is important to realize that mental health issues are not just about depression, but also about the seemingly normal things like anxiety and stress that can contribute to much larger problems.