Mental health is the ability to cope with life’s challenges. It includes emotional well-being and a capacity to establish constructive relationships, but it also means freedom from anxiety and disabling symptoms. It can be achieved through effective treatment and recovery supports that are proven to work for the majority of people who develop a mental illness.
A Healthy Mind, a Healthy Society
Mental health affects all aspects of an individual’s life, including relationships, work, and social activities. It determines how a person handles stress, interacts with others, and makes decisions. It is a key component of healthy societies and should be an important part of every country’s health agenda.
Everyone should have access to high quality and affordable care for mental disorders. This will help reduce the impact of these conditions on society and allow people to live full, productive lives.
Insufficient treatment of mental disorders is costly and contributes to a wide range of social and economic consequences for individuals, families, and communities. It has been estimated that the global cost of mental health disorders is between three and four percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Untreated mental disorders lead to a range of negative outcomes, from low-quality education and employment to increased costs for medical services, housing, and food. It is also associated with higher rates of premature death and disease.
Risk and protective factors for mental health are many and varied, and depend on both individual and environmental determinants. Some of these factors are genetic, such as a family history of depression or other mental illnesses. Some are environmental, such as adverse life events or ongoing stress. Some are socioeconomic, such as poverty or a lack of resources.
Stigma and discrimination are common. They can have a profound impact on individuals and communities, and are one of the main reasons that people don’t seek mental health care.
Having a mental health problem can be very upsetting, and can make it hard to function at work or in your social life. In some cases, it may be so severe that a family member has to leave their job or face financial problems as a result of the illness.
Psychoactive substances can trigger a manic episode or psychosis in some people, while other mental health conditions are caused by medical and hormonal changes. These conditions can be treated with medications.
Talk therapy is another effective way to manage symptoms, and may be combined with medication. The goal is to help you learn new coping strategies and improve your self-esteem.
In the United States, more than 1 in 5 adults experience at least one mental disorder each year, and more than one in ten youth suffer from a major depression. Despite this, few people with mental illness receive the treatment they need.