Mental Health: The Stigma of a Silent Condition
Understanding or even relating to mental problems can be difficult, in part because it is not always visible or detectable with a simple blood test or scan. Many people live with mental health issues and do not get the necessary treatment. In fact, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the average delay between the onset of mental illness symptoms and treatment is 11 years.
The burden of mental health not only impacts those affected with the condition, but it also affects their families and friends, multiplying the effect of such disorders that can vary from depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse. autism and attention deficit disorder ADD/ADHD, to name a few. In America alone, over 44 million adults have mental health conditions, causing them years lived with disability (YLD), and the most common leading cause of disability in the world is depression.
In the United States, the rise of chronic health conditions due to lack of physical activity and poor nutrition, the overwhelming use of opioids and a shortage of mental health providers, significantly contribute to the mental health crisis.
October 10 is the day designated to World Mental Health and it not only serves as a reminder of the need to educate, raise awareness and advocate against the social stigma but is also a moment to reflect about conditions that could be invisible for some but very real for others, independently of race, social status, color or philosophy. There’s an imperative necessity for actions that can help
stimulate a healthier society and today is a day to give support to whoever needs it. Despite differences, emotional and mental health is a vital part of life.
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