When it comes to mental health we say we know it’s a problem, but do we?
While we say we believe mental illness is a problem in America, do we realize just how pervasive it is in our own communities.
While we say we understand that someone with a mental illness can become sicker quickly, such as becoming suicidal, we are surprised when a friend or neighbor takes their life. It is common to hear “But I had no idea he/she was unhappy.”
Everyone says they know there is a stigma attached to mental illness which may keep some people from seeking treatment. But do we know that asking someone how they are doing without judgement or seeking solutions should be a constant question we should ask others at work and in the community.
If someone says they know there are genetic factors that can affect someone’s mental health, do they know that experiences and environment may be paramount in triggering these genetic predispositions?
Do we have a realistic understanding of just what constitutes therapy?
Do we realize that each person drives their treatment and therapy? And if that person isn’t comfortable with the therapist they’ve chosen, that it is fine to seek another therapist?
Do we really understand how much mental illness can affect the body?
These ideas come from a recent study by the Frame Works Institute.
Many people think of “mental health” as a person’s cognitive abilities.
The term really indicates a person’s psychological issues.
Experts believe that mental health issues are usually caused by multiple, intersecting factors – social and environmental influences, significant life changes, trauma, genetics and psychological factors which interact to cause these issues.
Most people think of stress and genetics as determining mental health issues without considering a multitude of social and physical issues as the cause.
Many people think of mental health issues affecting the person and the immediate family.
We may not be understanding the cost of lost productivity in the workplace, higher health costs, and it’s impact on the criminal justice system.
Many people think the solution to mental health issues are personal practices like yoga, attitude change, meditation, and consulting the internet.
We may not realize that these issues aren’t a “do-it-yourself” project. Expert professional help is the way customized treatments are addressed.
Many people may think that personal customized professional help should be sought only for the severest cases.
“Mental health care is appropriate across all levels of well-being.”