In the following article, we will address a topic of great importance, mental health speech, which is related to the work we do in this blog. Are you ready?
Mental health speech
Do you think it would be possible to ignore mental health speech? How relevant do you think mental health is, in general terms? We invite you to spend a few minutes reflecting on this aspect. At present, it seems that it is impossible to ignore mental health speech, especially when it comes to public health and the general welfare of society.
Mental health speech has been gradually gaining strength. The beginning of the social sciences, in general, was somewhat marked by being relegated to the shadow of those scientific disciplines that took on greater force some time ago. We can take this same perspective to think about the problems of mental health, and how mental health speech has been gaining strength as we gain more knowledge in the area.
It is likely that three or four decades ago even health systems and society, in general, were still very reluctant to use mental health speech. Mental health? and can we now define what the mind is? how can mental health affect my overall health? These questions still had no very clear answers, in which we now have more knowledge.
Mental health speech refers to the discourse that is woven around individual and collective mental health, the implications of neglecting these factors in general health, the interactions between the psychological level of functioning and other levels. All of the above, as a result of advances in knowledge and greater certainty about what this implies.
Mental health speech: why is this so important?
In the month of May 2013, something of great importance happened at the World Health Organization (WHO) regarding mental health at a global level. On that date, the 66th World Health Assembly was held, in which a great debate was opened, one of the results of which was the creation of the Mental Health Action Plan 2013-2020.
We are in the last year for which this plan was planned, that is, we now have more information to evaluate if and to what extent this program has been fulfilled. Mental health speech emphasizes the social consequences of including mental health as a primary focus for overall health.
The knowledge we have accumulated has allowed us to learn that there is a wide range of elements that intervene in health, in different ways, and through diverse mechanisms. We have learned that elements on the psychological level, that is, in general terms of how our mind works and what it involves, also have an impact on general health.
Firstly, mental illness can be tremendously disabling. Perhaps a few decades ago, it seemed very strange to us that a person with a major depressive disorder would be unable to continue his or her work activities and would need to stay in a specialized hospital for that purpose.
We are now more certain that this is entirely possible and, in fact, quite common. More severe mental disorders, in particular, have the potential to alter in an intense and significant way the usual functioning of people in different spheres of daily life.
Sometimes it seems incredible to us, but an alteration in mood can be so serious that the person needs to spend months of his life carrying out a series of actions, with the help of a professional, to recover his functionality and restore his life.
This plan from the WHO, which is to emphasize the central role that mental health has in people’s lives. With this plan of action, they are making their contribution so that mental health speech takes on more strength from the political arena and reaches the communities that need it most because they have been abandoned in this sense.
This plan takes as its axis of analysis the course of life and well-being of people, which can be affected in an intense way when there are mental health disorders, especially severe ones.
On the other hand, it is recognized that in order to achieve equity and equality in other areas of human life, it is necessary for all people to have equal access to mental health services, since the lack of access to these implies that dysfunctions are generated at other levels of daily life.
Finally, and also as a result of advances in knowledge, the WHO places great emphasis on the importance of prevention in order to achieve better mental health at a collective level. Many of the problems that occur in the context of mental health can be avoided if the relevant procedures and preventive actions are carried out.
Mental health speech: what should be better
According to the WHO plan we mentioned, by 2020 great progress should have been made in four specific aspects, which have been focused as the main lines of work to increase the level of mental health in people around the world.
Next, we will see in detail each one of those actions, and we will try to discuss and reflect on them a little.
“More effective leadership and governance for mental health”
This objective of the program is interesting and, being the first, it speaks to us of an essential element when we talk about mental health speech. Many of the actions that must (and can) be carried out to improve people’s mental health must be advanced by governments, as these are problems that include us all.
For example, it is a task that corresponds to governments to regulate public policies that regulate the mechanisms for dealing with mental health problems. In this case, to make an assessment of this objective, we should ask ourselves how easy is it for me to find a mental health professional in my community? how easy is it to access one’s own medication for mental disorders? how expensive is the service? what is the quality of these services?
The answers to the above questions will necessarily have to do with how different governments have managed their resources, and the priority they have assigned to mental health within the health care they provide to citizens.
If the answers to the above questions are negative, we still have a long way to go as societies to make mental health truly relevant and to enable people in need to enjoy a better quality of life.
“The provision of comprehensive, integrated mental health and social care services in community-based settings”
This objective is strongly related to the previous one since it necessarily includes governments and resource management.
Given the advance of knowledge, we now know that mental health includes multiple factors, which can rarely be addressed by a single professional or a single therapeutic approach. It is common for people with mental problems to need a variety of services in order to recover their normal health status.
For example, a person who has an anxiety disorder is likely to need at least some care from a psychiatrist and also from a psychologist who specializes in therapy. For one thing, an evaluation is needed to determine whether he or she needs to take any type of medication for his or her mental health condition.
On the other hand, it is necessary to know if you require some kind of complementary psychotherapeutic approach to learning strategies and/or techniques to help you manage your symptoms, eliminate them or manage them appropriately. You may also need both services simultaneously.
That’s why one of the objectives of the WHO mental health action plan emphasizes that these services must be integrated so that people can access treatment more easily. This implies that the person receives adequate and sufficient information about the route of action for their particular disorder.
“Implementation of strategies for promotion and prevention”
On the other hand, and as previously anticipated, we have learned that the promotion and prevention of mental health have great relevance. Mental health speech, among other things, emphasizes the need for mental health to be a subject of public debate, a topic of interest to everyone since we are all affected by it.
Ignoring or dismissing the issue of mental health is simply a risk to the individual and collective health. A number of risk factors and triggers have been identified that influence the emergence of mental health problems, and it is for that reason that there must be prevention strategies.
If we have sufficient knowledge to prevent the appearance of some kind of mental problem in people or to improve their level of functioning in some respect, why not do so, and, above all, why not do so in time?
“Strengthened information systems, evidence, and research”
Finally, the last general objective of this action plan has to do with the advancement of science and research, so that we have sufficient and reliable tools to address the mental health problems that arise.
Information systems are also of great importance in assessing the prevalence of mental illness. What type of mental disorder is most common? is it more prevalent in a particular age group? is there an area of the country where mental disorders are more prevalent? what is the average duration of an episode of acute mental illness?
The above, as well as other questions, can be addressed through appropriate information systems.
Finally, evidence and research play a crucial role, since we have the concrete tools through which we can know what works for a given problem. What is the best therapy for major depressive disorder? Can schizophrenia be treated with antipsychotic medications alone?
Such questions are about refining intervention strategies so that people who need them get the best help possible.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Mental health speech refers to the whole environment that is generated through the emphasis on the importance of mental health, which happens at a political and social level. How much importance do we as a society give to mental health? Mental health speech is an attempt to bring into public discussion the relevance and impact of mental health on overall health.
Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about mental health speech
Why is mental health important?
Mental health is important because it can have different implications for well-being and overall quality of life. This includes our psychological, emotional and social well-being.
How can I be aware of mental health?
There are some ways that you can use to impact mental health awareness. These include: talking about it with children, sharing stories of people who have had these kinds of problems, talking about mental health issues, reading about it, talking to loved ones about how we feel.
What age does mental health affect the most?
According to NIMH figures, the age group with the most serious mental disorders is between 18 and 25, compared to other age groups.
How do you define mental health?
Mental health is defined as a state of well-being, which is characterized by people being able to cope with stress, achieve their goals, work productively and successfully, among other elements.
What is the difference between mental health and mental illness?
The difference is that we all have mental health, in general. Illness is when there are symptoms of some kind that affect general functioning and these are disorders that only some people suffer from.
- Meeting the Mental Health Needs of Young Children 0-5 Years (Positive Mental Health)
- The Mental Health and Wellbeing Handbook for Schools: Transforming Mental Health Support on a Budget
- Mental Health Wisdom: Developing Understanding & Empathy
- Mental health action plan 2013 – 2020
- Prevention of Mental Disorders. EFFECTIVE INTERVENTIONS AND POLICY OPTIONS
- Prevention in mental health care: Time for a new approach