Enhancing Understanding Through Mental Health Education

  Mar 26, 2024

While conducting a survey, the National Alliance on Mental Alliance Illness reported that on average, 1 in 5 adults experience a mental illness.

It has been confirmed by WHO that close to two-thirds of the affected population goes untreated due to several reasons which include lack of awareness and stigmas attached to it.

Since mental health affects the way we conduct our day-to-day lives, our mood, health, and learning about mental health should be the top priority of every individual.

By doing so, it helps people deal with different emotions, thought processes, and behaviors, to live a harmonious life.

This creates an environment of self-awareness, essential for creating coping strategies for overall well-being.

Join me as I embark on the journey of enhancing understanding through mental health education.

Understanding Mental Health & Its Education

Mental Health & Its Education

Mental health is defined as the state of mental well-being that enables the people to cope with the stresses of life while realizing their abilities and learning well to contribute to their society.”  (defined by WHO).

Having a fit mind encloses the 4 most prominent aspects of our lives:

  • Psychological Well-Being
  • Emotional Well-Being
  • Social Well-Being
  • Cognitive Learning*

*NOTE: Cognitive learning is the process of focusing on the understanding as well as processing of the information provided. We as humans often do critical thinking, which involves deep thinking, resonation, and calculative decision-making to name a few of them. These are all a part of this learning.

But what is Mental Health Education? Why does our society need to be educated on something like this?

Consider the most recent global occurrence, the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was globally declared as the anxiety or depression pandemic because during this time there was a 25% increase in mental disorders globally!

A spectrum of reasons was suspected for these conditions, which included losing their loved ones, unemployment, and social isolation.

All 4 prominent aspects of mental health were deteriorating due to a lack of mental aid provisions as well as the inability to cope.

This is where mental health education plays a significant role. It teaches us how as fellow individuals we can understand mental health and the factors influencing it.

This article discusses the strategies to cope healthily, improve, and manage the various disorders (with symptoms, causes, and types of treatment).

By the end of it, you will learn the importance of indulging in self-care and strong coping strategies.

This helps desensitize stigmas attached to mental health as well as gain knowledge about when to get help.

 survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness

Did You Know?  According to a survey conducted by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, it has been reported that nearly 60% of adults in the United States, with mental illnesses, do not receive adequate services!

Common Mental Health Disorders & The Risk Factors

Mental Health Disorders

There are several disorders associated with mental health that are prevalent in our society, which most of us are aware of. There are as follows:

  • Anxiety – the most common ones are Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety Disorder.
  • Depression mainly Major Depressive Disorder and many more.
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
  • Schizophrenia Hallucinations or Delusions.
  • Bipolar Disorders Bipolar-I, Bipolar-2, and Cyclothymic Disorder.

Several risk factors are associated with the disorders which could lead them to such conditions.

This also includes environmental factors or stressors such as traumatic experiences, genetic predisposition, neural connections, or associated issues.

Any past or ongoing experiences could also be stressful or traumatic for them to cope with.

The graph below shows the market size of the U.S. mental health apps from 2020 to 2030 due to ease of accessibility and growing awareness.

U.S. mental health apps from 2020 to 2030

Benefits Of Mental Health Education & Their Effective Strategies

Benefits Of Mental Health Education

There are several benefits of providing Mental Health Education. They are as follows:

  • It creates awareness in society and lets affected people know that it is okay to seek help whenever it is required (feeling low, suicidal, anxious, or isolated).
  • Learning about the same helps in building resilience. In this way, one can easily become stronger to cope and navigate life by implementing strategies that were taught to reduce stress levels.
  • This is useful in encouraging those who wish to seek support without feeling hesitant and out of reach.
  • Reduce the stigma attached to it and be more empathetic towards these issues.
  • Improves the relationships between the individuals themselves as well as the family and society.
  • Boosts performance and productivity by addressing the root causes of the disorders and working on them.
  • Decreases the healthcare costs by either intervening earlier or avoiding it together, to avoid the illness from growing.
  • Creates a lifelong impact by influencing families, organizations, and social communities.

While there are several benefits, for the success of Mental Health Education within society, strategic and calculated measures should be taken. Here are several ways to achieve them:

  • Implementing it in the curriculum of the students of all levels as well as within the workplaces.
  • Initiating a peer-based support group that promotes discussions of the various problems, and past experiences as well as providing advice.
  • Organize seminars or workshops to spread awareness regarding mental health.
  • Utilize the technology to create virtual platforms like apps, websites, etc. This is an attractive way to involve the people due to its accessibility and interactive interface of such platforms.

Fun Fact   Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is a major contributor to the global burden of disease. – National Alliance of Mental Illnesses

Final Inputs

The promotion of mental health education is very important to enhance the understanding of the term without attaching a stigma to it.

This is because there are several mental illnesses that we might be suffering from and yet remain unaware of.

It helps create awareness in society and empowers individuals by providing tips on how to enhance mental health and create an inclusive society.

Although it is easier said than done, it is always the small initiatives that matter.