Mental health is a state of being which determines how an individual handles stress, makes decisions, perceives and interacts with others, and has a positive impact on his or her life. People with mental disorders are often discriminated against and suffer from stigma. However, there are effective treatments for these conditions.
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as “a dynamic state of internal equilibrium, in which the individual is healthy, happy, fulfilled, and ready to participate in the community. Psychological well-being consists of optimism, hopefulness, openness to new experiences, and purpose in life. It also includes basic cognitive and social skills.”
Although most people think of mental illness as purely emotional, most of the disorders have a biological basis. Adverse childhood experiences, such as parental separation, child abuse, and parental illness, have been linked to psychotic disorders. Also, genetics and the brain structure of individuals can affect their risk.
Many societies have insufficient resources to provide quality care to people with mental disorders. These inequalities are compounded by social exclusion. Moreover, most countries face constant pressures to cut back on their health insurance. Thus, resources allocated to the prevention and treatment of mental disorders are inefficiently used.
As part of the WHO’s Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020, the agency’s aim is to address the world’s unmet need for mental health by focusing on three major shortfalls in the area: increasing access to mental health care, addressing severe mental disorders, and developing policies on mental health that are applicable to all countries. Among the measures proposed are the use of social incentives and facilitated job opportunities.
In addition to health care, there is a need for more mental health facilities in the community. This will allow the mentally ill to benefit from better treatment. For example, patients can receive therapy and other treatments such as occupational therapy and speech therapy.
Mental health is important for a person’s functioning in society. It is a way to cope with challenging situations. Some people need to attend daytime programs, while other people may need overnight stays in a mental health facility. Often, a therapist is the only neutral party, acting as a sounding board for the patient. A therapist also works to help the patient learn coping strategies.
Some mental illnesses can be treated using pharmacotherapy. Medications such as antidepressants and lithium are often prescribed by physicians trained in psychiatry. They are also sometimes considered as a supplement to the treatment of other diagnoses. Benzodiazepines are also used in the treatment of mental illness.
Some of the most common disorders include anxiety and depressive disorders. Others include psychoactive substance-related disorders, which are major contributors to premature mortality. Other conditions, such as schizophrenia, are more serious and can have a high prevalence rate.
There is an urgent need to increase awareness of effective emotional mental health care around the world. Effective treatment methods and knowledge of alternative treatments can contribute to the prevention of these disorders.