Mental health is a state of mental well-being that enables people to cope with the stresses of life, realize their abilities, learn well and work well, and contribute to their community. It is important that we know and learn the nitty-gritty surrounding mental health. Needless to say, it is also essential that we spread awareness and promote the same. Mental health is as valuable as physical health and is an integral part of our well-being. It is on how we deal with our vulnerabilities and present ourselves in society and play our individual societal norms. In this article, we will be discussing detriments that harm our mental health and tips and tricks on how we can better take care of ourselves.
“Whilst the pandemic has and continues to, take its toll on our mental health, the ability to reconnect through World Mental Health Day 2022 will provide us with an opportunity to re-kindle our efforts to protect and improve mental health. Many aspects of mental health have been challenged; and already before the pandemic in 2019, an estimated one in eight people globally were living with a mental disorder. At the same time, the services, skills, and funding available for mental health remain in short supply, and fall far below what is needed, especially in low and middle-income countries.”
The below points consist of statistics that show key findings for the year 2023 regarding mental health as follows:
- In 2019-2020, 20.78% of adults were experiencing a mental illness. That is equivalent to over 50 million Americans.
- The vast majority of individuals with a substance use disorder in the U.S. are not receiving treatment. 15.35% of adults had a substance use disorder in the past year. Of them, 93.5% did not receive any form of treatment.
- Millions of adults in the U.S. experience serious thoughts of suicide, with the highest rate among multiracial individuals. The percentage of adults reporting serious thoughts of suicide is 4.84%, totaling over 12.1 million individuals. 11% of adults who identified with two or more races reported serious thoughts of suicide in 2020 – 6% higher than the average among all adults.
- Over 1 in 10 youth in the U.S. are experiencing depression that is severely impairing their ability to function at school or work, at home, with family, or in their social life. 16.39% of youth (age 12-17) report suffering from at least one major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year. 11.5% of youth (over 2.7 million youth) are experiencing severe major depression.
- Over half (54.7%) of adults with a mental illness do not receive treatment, totalling over 28 million individuals. Even in Montana (ranked #1), over 4 in 10 adults with a mental illness did not receive care.
- Almost a third (28.2%) of all adults with a mental illness reported that they were not able to receive the treatment they needed. 42% of adults with AMI reported they were unable to receive necessary care because they could not afford it.
- 10.8% (over 5.5 million) of adults with a mental illness are uninsured. Hispanic adults with AMI were least likely to have health insurance, with 19% reporting they were not covered by insurance.
- 6.34% of youth in the U.S. reported a substance use disorder in the past year. That is equivalent to over 1.5 million youth in the U.S. who meet the criteria for an illicit drug or alcohol use disorder.
- 22.87% of adults who report experiencing 14 or more mentally unhealthy days each month were not able to see a doctor due to costs. In Georgia (ranked 51), over one-third of adults experiencing frequent mental distress are unable to afford a doctor’s visit.
- 59.8% of youth with major depression do not receive any mental health treatment. Asian youth with major depression were least likely to receive speciality mental health care, with 78% reporting they did not receive mental health services in the past year. In South Carolina, the lowest-ranking state, nearly 8 in 10 youth with depression do not receive care.
- Nationally, only 28% of youth with severe depression receive some consistent treatment (7-25+ visits in a year). Most (57.3%) youth with severe depression do not receive any care.
- Nationally, 1 in 10 youth who are covered under private insurance do not have coverage for mental or emotional difficulties – totalling over 1.2 million youth. In Arkansas (ranked 51), nearly one-quarter of youth with private insurance do not have coverage for mental health care.
- Only .718 per cent of students are identified with emotional disturbance for an individualized education program (IEP). IEPs, with sufficient resources for schools and teachers, are critical for ensuring that youth with disabilities can receive the individualized services, support, and accommodations to succeed in a school setting.
- In the U.S., there are an estimated 350 individuals for every 1 mental health provider. However, these figures may actually be an overestimate of active mental health professionals, as it may include providers who are no longer practicing or accepting new patients.
Mental Health issues can occur for various reasons, due to chronic stress, childhood trauma, any history of abuse or assault, sexual assaults, etc., sometimes people who are diagnosed with cancer can also due to fear and symptoms of such a scary disease also fall into depression. Mood swings, feelings of helplessness and loneliness. It is essential that we try our best to tackle our day-to-day stressors.
- Physical movement not only keeps you physically fit but also mentally. Cardio helps to increase your heartbeat thereby ensuring blood flow to the entire body. You feel active and energetic and productive. Can there ever be a negative side to exercise? Never! You also avoid getting frequent diseases such as the common cold or fever. Healthy choices always lead to a healthy mind, body and spirit. Even walking for 15 minutes a day can do wonders for your body. On average, a person should at least work out for 30 minutes a day. It is beneficial.
- It’s needless to say that eating healthily is very important and taking the necessary supplements with it. When we are working our usual 9-5 jobs, it’s only common that we miss our breakfasts, don’t take intake of the natural sunlight and miss our dose of Vitamin D. Eating healthy often involves, intaking green (like spinach, and celery and sorts), eating fish that is a great source of omega – 3 fatty acids and B2. At least taking 2-3 bowls of veggies and fruits every single day. When you stick to a diet of nutrient-rich foods, you’re setting yourself up for fewer mood swings and an improved ability to focus and studies prove that healthy diets can help with symptoms of depression and anxiety. Avoiding junk food from fast restaurants and processed foods goes a long way. When you are used to a certain lifestyle and want to make some changes, it’s often difficult to do so. It’s important that we start small and then go on to make bigger goals that we can accomplish. Avoiding sugary items and sugar, in general, can be your first goal. Studies show that overconsumption of sugary items can lead to the functioning of your brain slowing down.
- The ideal time to sleep is between 10:00 PM to 4:00 AM. Waking up early has its perks. Your body gets to experience fresh weather. Stretching up after you wake up is also a better way to wake up your body. Avoid using any electronic gadgets 1 hour before you sleep and right after you wake up. Never underestimate the power of good sleep, and also too much of anything is not good as well. It is important that you learn how to balance all the aspects of life. Studies show that sleep helps maintain cognitive skills, such as attention, learning, and memory, such that poor sleep can make it much more difficult to cope with even relatively minor stressors and can even impact our ability to perceive the world accurately.
Maintain a journal
- When talking about your feelings seems overwhelming, you can always turn to a book. Write down why are you feeling a particular way, and what happened that led to that feeling. Did you have a fight first thing in the morning with a friend to an extent that led you to be upset the entire day, which also decreased your productivity levels at work? It’s also said that before sleeping it is a great habit to read or write out what you did an entire day – leads to good exercise for your brain. You can also always talk to your loved ones or contact a nearby therapist. There is nothing wrong with talking to someone and the stigma around therapy should be eradicated.
Your Environment is Important
- Surround yourself with positive people, people that encourage you and uplift you. People that can call you on your bad habits and push you to do well. Having a great support system such as friends and family is very vital. Very often, it also happens that when we do not have such a support system, spending time with ourselves can also be beneficial. Listen to your favourite music or just take a hot warm shower even if you’ve already taken a bath. Eat your favourite food and watch a movie that you love even if you’ve watched it already.
More than 1 in 5 US adults live with a mental illness. Over 1 in 5 youth (ages 13-18) either currently or at some point during their life, have had a seriously debilitating mental illness. The essentials of law and mental health can be seen in various laws. For example, under the law of contract, a contract is not valid with an unsound mind person, or if he or she is proven to be insane or a lunatic under the law will not be legally held guilty for a crime committed by them; or such contracts will be held invalid in the eyes of the court. The onus of proving insanity is on the person who alleges it and that person must be able to prove through facts and evidence that the act done was under the influence of unsoundness of the mind. The criminal justice system has, of necessity, to address issues of responsibility, appropriateness of trial and treatment in the light of mental health considerations. “States dictate how and when the defense may be invoked in state court while the federal government does so for the federal court system. In 1984, the Insanity Defense Reform Act (18 U.S.C. § 17) was passed. Generally, it placed the burden of proving insanity on the defendant and it cut on the use of mental illness as a defense. Today, insanity is rarely invoked and of those, only a quarter succeed.”
“World Mental Health Day was observed for the first time on October 10, 1992. It was an initiative by the World Federation for Mental Health, a global organization with over 150 member nations. The day was initiated by Deputy Secretary General Richard Hunter. Reportedly, the first occasion did not have any specific theme apart from creating awareness among the masses. It was in 1994 that World Mental Health Day was celebrated for the first time with a specific theme – ‘Improving the quality of Mental Health Services throughout the world’. The theme for this year is ‘Make mental health and well-being for all a global priority’.”
 Mental health (who.int)  World Mental Health Day 2022 (who.int)  Refer below table: The State of Mental Health in America | Mental Health America (mhanational.org)  Food & Your Mood: How Food Affects Mental Health - Aetna | Foods That Help Your Brain Health  How Sleep Deprivation Impacts Mental Health | Columbia University Department of Psychiatry (columbiapsychiatry.org)  About Mental Health (cdc.gov)  Ibid.  Who is an Unsound Person? - GS Bagga  mental health | Wex | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute (cornell.edu)  Ibid.  World Mental Health Day 2022: Origin, theme & significance of a day that celebrates wellness of the mind - The Economic Times (indiatimes.com)