In the next 10 years one of the biggest challenges we are likely to face is Mental Health. Mental Health services refers to one of the largest and most overlooked areas in health care. According to WHO, the Mental Health Service Plan (MHSP) is the most promising project launched by a global alliance. In order to successfully address Mental Health, we need to develop a coordinated national strategy based on comprehensive research, evidence-based practice, and best practices from different disciplines within the field.
Mental Health Issue Worldwide:
It has been said that mental health is one of the biggest challenges faced by people of all ages, sexes and cultures. There has been a steady increase in the number of people suffering from depression, anxiety and bipolar disorder in the past decade. There has also been an increase in the number of children and adults diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD), Bipolar Disorder, and Major Depression.
Need to Seek Mental Health Services:
The problem is that many people suffer from some form of mental illness but do not seek treatment. Because mental health services is often neglected, people who suffer from mental illness often have untreated, incapacitating mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. One in five adults suffer from some form of psychological disorders such as depression and anxiety. About one in four children experience some form of psychological disorder in school. These statistics clearly show that the impact of mental health is widespread and can affect people of all ages, races and classes.
Mental Health Services Widely Neglected:
Because mental health services is a neglected area of medical care, the scope for innovative research and care is limited. However, there are some promising initiatives being taken by the medical community to improve the mental health services. One initiative focuses on studying the impact of violence in schools on mental health. Another is exploring the link between alcohol and depression. There are many challenges facing our mental health system and health services. One challenge is that stigma has fallen upon mental health services.
Workplace Politics Leading Towards Mental Health Issues:
Some employers are not taking the mental health of their employees seriously. Workplace policies that include few resources for mental health complaints and no internal mechanisms for addressing workplace stress and other emotional and physical challenges are posing a challenge.
Challenges such as these pose serious threats to the mental well being of employees. The impact of these issues is widespread but very often, it is left unrecognized. Organizations with a vision that includes mental wellness and mental health services are creating an opportunity for transformation. Organizations such as this are creating a large segment of employment opportunities for qualified individuals with a variety of mental illnesses. Individuals with mental illnesses are no longer invisible.
Many workers report experiencing work-related stress at their jobs and this compromises their performance and health. A recent survey by Northwestern National Life revealed that about 40% of workers reported that their jobs were extremely stressful. In another survey by Yale University, 29% of workers reported feeling extreme stress because of their jobs.
Psychosocial stressors are, arguably, the most predominant stress factors. These include high job demands, inflexible working hours, poor job control, poor work design and structure, bullying, harassments, and job insecurity.
Workplace stress not only affects the worker, it also has adverse effects on company performance well. The effects of job-related strain are evident in workers’ physical health, mental health, and their behavior.
Lack of Awareness Regarding Mental Health:
There are several barriers to reaching full mental health services and integration. Often, the lack of awareness and participation has been a key barrier. Sometimes, organizations may be hesitant to take on an issue because of its sensitivity. Organizations that have seen progress need to continue their efforts and be ready to integrate new practices and training into their practices. It takes more than one initiative to create meaningful change.
Stigma affects not only the number seeking treatment, but also the number of resources available for proper treatment. Stigma and misinformation can feel like overwhelming obstacles for someone who is struggling with a mental health condition. Here a few powerful things you can do to help:
- Showing individuals respect and acceptance removes a significant barrier to successfully coping with their illness. Having people see you as an individual and not as your illness can make the biggest difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health.
- Advocating within our circles of influence helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other members of your church, school and community.
- Learning more about mental health allows us to provide helpful support to those affected in our families and communities.
Organizations Should Come Forward To Contribute:
The mental health services provider industry should be congratulated for recognizing the importance of mental wellness and mental health services. This progress is a major step forward in the direction of greater understanding and compassion for people who suffer from mental illness. The industry can still go further to increase participation and improve services for those suffering from mental illness. I applaud the efforts of organizations that are working to change the landscape of mental health service.
Retaining Mental Health Professionals:
One challenge faced by mental health services providers is recruiting, retaining and promoting good mental health professionals. Providing high quality care requires the right staff members. Many organizations have seen success when they include mental health professional education and training in their employment policies. Policies requiring mental health service providers to undergo re-training periodically is also having an increasing positive impact. This serves as a reminder to organization staff that they need to keep up with the latest practice in order to stay relevant in the marketplace.
Reaching Out Conventional Families:
Reaching out to families and communities is another important step in providing better mental health care. Sincere relationships with communities are important for promoting recovery and reducing stress, mental health professionals need to do their best to promote these relationships. They can reach out to families in a number of ways. They can hold private conversations or group meetings focused on mental health issues.
Every Step and Contribution Matters:
Mental health is one of the biggest challenges for today’s medical professionals. Making sure that every person gets the best possible mental health treatment is extremely important. Mental health services can help improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people every year. If you suffer from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia or any other mental illness, it’s time to start taking action and preventing future problems. Mental health is an important issue that everyone should be concerned about. If you or someone you know needs help, contact your local mental health provider today.