Health is a topic that, like it or not, is constantly in the spotlight. Everywhere one looks, there are new studies, more research, and various real life incidents that propel our awareness, knowledge, and understanding onward and upward. While there is a seemingly constant influx of information surrounding physical health at our fingertips, there is another aspect of overall health that is just as important, yet receives not even half of the recognition or attention to detail. That aspect of overall health is mental health.
A toxic stigma that continues to fester
The stigma that has surrounded mental health since the beginning is one that, believe it or not, still exists. In fact, it exists to such a point that it has become a global epidemic over the years. Of course, every individual who struggles with their mental health has different ways of coping (some practice meditation and yoga daily, while others lean on organic self-imposed treatments from websites like ilovegrowingmarijuana.com, to name a few examples of popular coping mechanisms). So, mental health is a prominent issue. But why, and what can be done to right the ship?
Understanding mental health
Too often, people mistakenly assume that mental health struggles are a behavioural problem rather than a genuine disease. This has been the assumption for as long as mental health started to get noticed as a sore point for some people. This attitude towards mental health has, over time, established a stigma that has resulted in people who struggle with their mental health feeling alienated, judged, shamed, and alone. However, mental health struggles and diseases are very real, and they can be debilitating. Mental health struggle can affect anyone, anywhere, anytime, anyplace.
It does not discriminate. It can make the simplest of tasks (like getting out of bed in the morning) feel impossible. And most importantly, it does not often (if ever) manifest physically, making it more challenging to recognise and diagnose in the first place. Because of the difficulty in realising physical manifestations of mental health struggles, they are often incorrectly labelled as behavioural issues. This toxic stigma has resulted in those who are impacted by mental health struggle to feel judged and alone. Reaching out can feel like the scariest and most impossible feat in the world. Until now, that is.
Evolving the global approach
We live in an era where, finally, positive steps towards evolving the global approach to mental health are being made. More awareness, knowledge, and understanding in recent years, coupled with the rising numbers of affected individuals, has resulted in the global approach to mental health finally shifting to healthier and more positive ground. People are more aware of the reality of mental health struggles, and they are more open, supportive, and understanding of those who struggle with their mental health. If we continue to evolve and progress the way that we are right now, the future for mental health is likely to be a distinctly more positive one – and that is something worth fighting for, a million times over. We could all use a little help sometimes. Life is too important.