Mental health can affect all of us regardless of race, gender, geographical location, or social and economic status. The more you know about mental health, the more prepared you’ll be to stand up for mental health issues in your community. Read on for a few important facts about mental health.
- Mental health problems are common, estimated to affect as many as 1 in 4 people worldwide at some point in life.
- Mental health problems are not an individual weakness or failure. Biological factors or life experiences can give rise to a disorder. Genetics, physical illness, injury, brain chemistry, trauma or a history of abuse can all be causal factors.
- Mental illness is a disease, centered in the brain Like other diseases, many mental disorders can be treated and managed.
- Depression, bipolar affective disorder, schizophrenia and other psychoses, dementia, intellectual disabilities and developmental disorders, represent different mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders.
- People with chronic health condition such as HIV, cardiovascular disease and diabetes are at higher risk of mental illness like depression.
- Mental illness affects more than the individual. Family, friends, neighbors and associates can all be affected. Conversely, they can also be sources of support.
- Medications have been a great help in the treatment of mental illness. People affected by mental health issues can learn new ways of managing their emotions to resume productive lives.
- Health care, social services and community support are critical to treatment and management of a mental health disorder. Friends and loved ones are important in helping an individual manage their mental health.
Learn how you can be a women’s health advocate on our Africa4Her page.
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