For those affected, mental health problems can make everyday life a struggle. Seemingly simple tasks such as maintaining personal hygiene or even getting out of bed can become insurmountable.
The appropriate care and support is not often readily available, even in some of the most advanced countries in the world. Society amongst many cultures often prioritises the treatment of physical ailments despite many cases of mental ill-health being life-threatening.
Improving access to treatment and promoting awareness could not only change but save the lives of those fighting to survive day by day.
Mental health problems are extremely varied in their symptoms but generally speaking can result in intense sadness, anxiety and/or fear.These unwanted and unpleasant feelings can be constant and some people can experience them throughout their lives even with treatment. This can lead to isolation, unemployment and even suicidal thoughts and actions.
Unfortunately, damaging misconceptions about mental ill-health are rife in every corner of the world, from beliefs about demonic possession to accusations of the problem being fabricated for attention.This long history of stigma has lead to many sufferers hiding their symptoms from loved ones or even denying them in themselves. This can exacerbate the problem and stop people from seeking treatment. Those that do find the courage to look for help are often met with a choice between long waiting lists or very expensive care.
Charities are working to ensure that every person experiencing mental health problems receives the support and respect that they deserve.
Fundraising to provide affordable or even free treatment means that the right care is accessible to everyone regardless of their circumstance. This enables each individual to focus on their wellbeing in a way that they choose, be it medication, therapy or literature. Organisations are also using donations to promote and fund services such as respite care, advocates, and legal services.
Educating communities about the reality of living with a mental health problem provides a safer place for honesty surrounding their struggles. This openness with peers and medical professionals equals access to the tools necessary to manage problems and lead a happier, more fulfilled life.
- McManus, S., Meltzer, H., Brugha, T. S., Bebbington, P. E., & Jenkins, R. (2009). Adult psychiatric morbidity in England, 2007: results of a household survey. The NHS Information Centre for health and social care.
- The Office for National statistics - https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/suicidesintheunitedkingdom/2016registrations
- McManus S, Bebbington P, Jenkins R, Brugha T. (eds.) (2016) Mental health and wellbeing in England: Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey 2014. Leeds: NHS Digital. http://digital.nhs.uk/catalogue/PUB21748.
- The Office for National statistics- http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/subnational-health4/suicides-in-the-united-kingdom/2013-registrations/suicides-in-the-united-kingdom--2013-registrations.html