• Question: has mental health increased over the past years

    Asked by 995memp34 to Nadine on 16 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Nadine Mirza

      Nadine Mirza answered on 16 Nov 2018:

      This is a pretty interesting and tough question!
      The answer is – we’re not sure!
      Sometimes people argue that mental health is getting worse because we’re seeing more and more people with mental health difficulties and in younger and younger ages. Plus a lot of mental health problems are being attributed to things that we have developed over time like technology, social media and jobs that require a lot more of being indoors and at a desk.
      At the same time however, psychologists argue that actually, maybe it’s not that mental health is getting worse- maybe it’s that we’ve finally begun to notice it, track it and help people on a large scale! Not to mention we’ve also come up with better ways to manage mental health and treat mental health difficulties with therapy and medication. We’ve also never known more about the brain and the mind now!
      I hope this helps show that there are two very extensive sides to the argument and the biggest part of the problem is that right now there’s no way to track mental health in people- it’s definitely not as easy as tracking physical health.
      Usually, because hospitals and all keep records of physical diseases and such across the world, statistics and census are used to tell us how we’re fairing.
      But with mental health it can be so difficult to determine it because world over not everyone who has the problems is showing up to services for a bunch of reasons- there are not services where they live or don’t know where the services are, the shame and anxiety associated with mental health difficulties that make people steer clear of acknowledging it, the denial that can occur. We are still struggling to record this information and until we do we won’t know if mental health is improving or declining.
      What we can do till then is try to focus on improving our own individual mental health and helping out those we see struggling!