Is it time to talk about mental health?
Most people will have had some experience with mental health disorders (such as depression and anxiety), whether it is personal or through their family, friends, or work colleagues. In 2017, more than 971 million people of all ages were affected by mental health problems, equating to approximately 1 in 8 people in all societies around the globe. According to the Black Dog Institute, 1 in 5 (20%) of Australians aged between 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year.
Despite its prevalence and the fact that a lot of people experience it and will continue to do so, there remains a stigma surrounding people with mental health problems. Stigma can worsen symptoms for sufferers and adversely influence help-seeking behaviour because it can make people feel ashamed, embarrassed and overwhelmed when they should not feel this way. In some cases, people may feel compelled to suicide perceiving this as their only way out from suffering the effects of illnesses like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and other mental disorders.
We are all likely to know someone affected by mental illness because it is a common illness.
Its time to start talking more about it to reduce the associated stigma and promote the help-seeking behaviour that is required for proper treatment and recovery.
Here is a short video which highlights the need for all of us to gain an understanding of the issues so that we can begin the journey of making it easier for everyone to talk about mental illness and the devastating impact that it can have upon sufferers, their families and friends.
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